Mar 10, 11
Read in February, 2011 — I own a copy
Though I have not yet read Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show, I enjoyed getting to know Ben McCarthy in The Matchmaker of Kenmare. Ben makes for an intriguing narrator as he tells the story of his relationship with Kate Begley to his two grown children. I enjoyed the air of mystery that was woven throughout the book. I wanted to read on to find out how the relationship between Ben and Kate, the matchmaker, played out. I found Kate to be a delightful and somewhat fey character whose positive attitude prevailed as she led Ben on a trail through war torn Europe and finally to the United States in search of Charles Miller, the American soldier she had hastily married during the war.
I was fascinated to learn of Ireland’s neutral position in World War II. Even with all the history I have learned about Ireland in my several trips there, I had never considered the Irish Republic’s position in the war. I was also interested in Ben’s position with the Irish Folklore commission as I have seen some of the work that was done to preserve Irish history by the Department of Irish Folklore. Having visited much of southern Ireland, including Kenmare, I was able to vividly picture the Irish setting. Of course after learning of Ben’s relationship with Venetia Kelly, his missing wife, I am now anxious to go back and read Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show to learn what happened to Ben prior to his meeting Kate.
I have avidly read Frank Delaney’s books Ireland, Shannon and Tipperary and was thrilled when I was offered a preview copy of the The Matchmaker of Kennmare. I wasn’t disappointed. Delaney’s gift for telling a story shines in this new novel. The book is a delightful and thoughtful read which Delaney fans and those who love books about Ireland will thoroughly enjoy.