In the first book of this series, the large amount of narrators, eight in the total, did bother me. Since I was trying to following the story of each individual narrator, sometimes I was lost into the middle of narrative.
In this second book, I got more used with the writer’s style of writing. His main virtue is to intertwine fiction with history in a brilliant way.
The plot is about the story of four men - Ned Nolan, Hugh MacMahon, Robert Delaney and Vincent Tully. who participate in the Irish Rising of 1887 and how their lives were affected by the battle of Clonbony Wood. These four friends since their boyhood, they joined the Fenian brotherhood in 1865. After that, their lives take their own destiny.
Quotations: Page 99: "So far as County Cork is concerned, the Fenian rising go 1867 began with what is known to this day as "Nolan's Raid," which took place on the night of February 20."
Page 174: "The people of these valleys , and of the valleys and hills across Ireland, died in their cabins or begging to be admitted to the workhouses, and their unconfined bodies were tipped into the famine graves. Many more took leave of their homes, and at Queenstown boarded the coffin ships for New York, where the streets are paved not with gold but with work and loneliness."
Page 224: "The Rising marked us all, all of us who had been out on that March morning, all of us save, no doubt, myself, a sedentary man who was glad enough to leave behind him his prison sentence, and the gunfire, the blazing barracks, and the men we left dead or writhing in their agony in the streets of Kilpeder...."
Page 443: "Ribbon Fenians. The success of the Land League came in good measure from the enterprise of the "Ribbon Fenians", as they were called... It was held by Fenians pur sang that land agitation was a base and vulgar distraction from the cause of an armed rebellion intended to establish a free and fully in dependent republican state."
I am looking forward to finish this magnificent trilogy.
"Irish Emigrants Leaving Home - The Priest's Blessing" courtesy of New York Public Library Digital Collections.(less)
This is the first book of the trilogy on Gracelin O'Malley saga.
The historical background covers the Great Famine of 1845 in Ireland. The plot tells t...moreThis is the first book of the trilogy on Gracelin O'Malley saga.
The historical background covers the Great Famine of 1845 in Ireland. The plot tells the story of Gracelin and her family. When she was 16-years old, she marries an English landlord, Bram Donnelly and then her life is in constant turmoil due to the violent character of her husband.
In the meantime, her brother Sean and her childhood friend Morgan McDonagh became part of Young Irish rebels trying to save Ireland from British dependency. As consequence, the Young Irelander Rebellion of 1848 (also called Famine Rebellion) took place later on but it's not described in this book. Some of the leaders of the Easter Rebellion of 1916 had families affected by this famine, James Connolly among them. This latest rebellion is very well described in the book 1916: A Novel of the Irish Rebellion by Morgan Llywelyn.
Page 320: "You have robbed us of our land and our right to live here with dignity. You have worked us as slaves, starved us to death, and left us to cope with terrible sickness. This is what we have come to under British rule."..."Ireland has provided you with an endless cradle of our best young men to be fodder to your enemy's cannons. We fight against you now, because we have little left to lose."
From BBC Radio 3: Sean O'Casey's classic play set in the midst of the Easter Rising of 1916. The impact of events is viewed through the eyes of ordinar...moreFrom BBC Radio 3: Sean O'Casey's classic play set in the midst of the Easter Rising of 1916. The impact of events is viewed through the eyes of ordinary people inhabiting a Dublin tenement. O'Casey's masterpiece paints a vivid portrait of a city and a nation in turmoil.(less)
This a very interesting book describing the real Irish story through Ned Halloran character, from the Bloody Sunday, the Bachelor's Walk until the Eas...moreThis a very interesting book describing the real Irish story through Ned Halloran character, from the Bloody Sunday, the Bachelor's Walk until the Easter Rising.
Page 97: One thing I do not miss about Ireland is the hypocrisy. There is no sex in Ireland; the church forbids it. The babies of decent folk are the result of Immaculate Conception. Anything else is Original Sin. No wonder we go through life crippled by guilt and fear.
Page 420: "Mr. Connolly says there are no Volunteers and Citizen Army anymore. We are all the Irish Republican Army now!"
Page 430/431: Irishmen and Irishwomen: In the name of God and the dead generations from which she receives her old tradition of nationhood, Ireland, through us, summons her children to her flag and strikes for her freedom.
Page 435: April 25, 1916: IRISH REBELS STAGE DUBLIN UPRISING
Page 499: God save Ireland say we proudly, God save Ireland say we all. Whether on the scaffold high or the battlefield we die Oh, what matter when for Ireland dear we fall. ("God Save Ireland", traditional rebel song)
Page 511: As one execution followed another and became known, a feeling of revulsion set in. People began urging clemency for the rebels. George Bernard Shaw was but one of the many writing letters to the government. The United States also expressed the hope that Great Britain would show mercy.
WHAT A BOOK!!! It deserves 6 stars in my opinion. The unforgettable story of three generations during the famine...moreJust arrived from Belgium through BM.
WHAT A BOOK!!! It deserves 6 stars in my opinion. The unforgettable story of three generations during the famine period in Ireland. It's hard to decide which character I loved most Marguerite, Sarah or Ned?(less)
A masterpiece on Irish story, telling the saga of Conor Larkin, showing his principle of non-recognition of British institutions on Irish soil and dis...moreA masterpiece on Irish story, telling the saga of Conor Larkin, showing his principle of non-recognition of British institutions on Irish soil and disobedience to British authority became a universally accepted cornerstone for breaking the yoke of the colonizer.(less)