The Naming of Eliza Quinn
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

The Naming of Eliza Quinn

3.54 of 5 stars 3.54  ·  rating details  ·  68 ratings  ·  19 reviews
In the late 1960s, in the hollow of an ancient oak tree beyond a derelict cottage in Cork, were found the bones of a three-year-old girl. It was thought that they dated back to the time of the great potato famine of the mid 1800s. The bones were discovered by an American woman, who had inherited the cottage which had lain empty and broken for40 years. Local searches reveal...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published August 3rd 2006 by Virago UK (first published August 3rd 2005)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 148)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Carol Birch is a British novelist who was born in 1951 and attended Keele University, England. She currently lives in Lancaster, England with her family.She is the author of eleven novels and won the 1988 David Higham Award for the Best First Novel of the Year for Life in the Palace, However, The Naming of Eliza Quinn was the first of her novels I had read. It is not a book that I would normally pick up, but it was book of the month for the book group that I attend in the Village Library.

The no...more
I wish I had 'found' Carol Birch sooner as I have a feeling I have missed out on a super storyteller who can really get the reader to engage with the world she creates. The mix of social history, family secrets, and mystery blended to give a tale of depth and character. The 'Irish potato famine' is one of those historical 'facts' that you learn about in school but this really gave an indication of what it actually meant for those who 'lived' through it. The strange mix of Eliza Vesey's pagan cha...more
Angie Swain
A high class read...Ireland during one of the potato famines, a feud which reaches across the whole village and passes down through generations. My first Carol Birch book, and not the last
Leeanne Thwaite
Loved the style in which this book was written. Can not imagin how hard it must have been to live through the potato famine. This powerful read transports you back in time to the potato famine of the 1840. With layer upon layer of family history unravelled. You are left experiencing the torment and heart break these families faced. Carol Birch manages to write from several perspectives allowing the reader some insight into this complicated family feud.

” I could not put it down ! “

A well-written, engaging story, perhaps overly reliant on old Irish stereotypes like central characters being away with the fairies and unwed mothers being packed off to England. The story is broken into four parts of unequal length, and I found that the third was so long and convoluted that I'd forgotten what happened in the first part. The plot itself was interesting and fast-moving, and made for an enjoyable read.
This was the first novel I read by irish author Carol Birch but certainly not the last. Set mainly during the Irish Potato Famine , you know this is not a uplifting novel with its themes of poverty, despair and hunger. I liked how the author managed to create the ambiguous personality of Eliza Vesey which is one of those characters not at all likeable but yet you care about her....
Tom Johnson
as the book progressed so did my rating - 3 to 4 to 5 - Carol Birch is a first rate author - creative storyline - gripping description of how wretched life and death can be. found the book impossible to put down. loved the otherworldly feel. I should read it again -later
Set on the west coast of Ireland in 1969, 1900 and the late 1840s - as the Irish potato famine, the great hunger, took hold.
I enjoyed the story set in the 1840s more than the more recent part of the book.
Well written and quite ghostly at times, it brought a tear to my eye.
If you like happy endings, this isn't your book. But there's nothing much to celebrate about the Great Potato Famine. A beautifully written book that illustrates the gut-wrenching decisions the Irish had to make to survive.
Describes the history of Ireland from 1960's back to the potato famine of 1840's through the fates of women of one family in rural Ireland. If you're interested in life in Ireland, I'd recommend the work by Roddy Doyle, instead.
Reading this novel is a life-changing experience. Carol Birch seems to know more about humanity than any of us ever can. How does she do it? I can't wait to read another of her books.
The book tells the story of two families - their feuds, relationships, hardships and secrets - in a small Irish village from the Potato Famine up until the 1960s. Worth a read.
Only read half so not a fair rating but did not find this book entertaining enough to finish...quite a suprise considering I loved Scapegallows by this same author.
Took me a long while to read but I did enjoy it. The characters didn't draw me into the book but once started, I had to finish it - slowly!

Laura Morwood
Slow start, interesting middle about life during the famine in the south of Ireland. End too slow and boring. Had to speed read to finish.
Mar 06, 2014 ☯Bettie☯ marked it as lookedinto-decidedagainst
Shelves: spring-2012
Looked into, decided against.
Haunting and atmospheric, you can feel the cold and the rain
Loved it! So sinister
George marked it as to-read
Jun 29, 2014
Steve Grace
Steve Grace marked it as to-read
Jun 09, 2014
Louisa marked it as to-read
May 29, 2014
Dawn marked it as to-read
May 19, 2014
Infjane marked it as to-read
May 01, 2014
Kirsten marked it as to-read
Apr 28, 2014
Annie marked it as to-read
Apr 26, 2014
Jenny Horvath
Jenny Horvath marked it as to-read
Mar 16, 2014
Briansmom marked it as to-read
Mar 15, 2014
Denise Furlow
Denise Furlow is currently reading it
Mar 11, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
Carol Birch was born in Manchester and attended Keele University. The author of eleven novels, she won the 1988 David Higham Award for the Best First Novel of the Year for Life in the Palace, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize with The Fog Line in 1991, and she was long-listed for the 2003 Booker Prize for Turn Again Home. Her novel Jamrach's Menagerie was long-listed for the Orange Prize 2011. She...more
More about Carol Birch...
Jamrach's Menagerie Scapegallows Turn Again Home The Fog Line Come Back Paddy Riley

Share This Book