Chrissie's Reviews > Trinity: A Novel of Ireland

Trinity by Leon Uris
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's review
Feb 03, 10

bookshelves: hf, ireland, text-checked
Recommended to Chrissie by: Mom
Read from January 26 to February 03, 2010


Done. Not one of my favorite books. I think lots of other people might like it. The history clearly chronicled in ythe last 100 pages was a plus. For me the characters had no depth. What you get is a story of Ireland's history through the 1800s and up to the beginning of the Great War. The tone is negative from start to finsih. The troubles will not end, the battles will continue forever. That is the message. I DO understand Irish history better after reading the book. That is why historical fiction is good - if the story doesn't grab you well then you can at least learn something.

Through page 528 of 751:I feel like I am the odd-ball. I can see why so many like this book. You come to understand the plight of the Irish situation. However this wasn't news to me when I started. For me the main character is just too GOOD. Nothing can deter him. When he falters, his friends are there to quickly nudge him back. I do not believe in PATRIOTISM. I know Irish feel a great love for their country. Russians too, but me I see good and bad things in all countries. I could never say I must live in just THAT one country. There are countries I might NOT choose to live in, at least not for more than a short time, but there are lots of countries where I would be happy. This all encompassing adoration for the country of your birth is hard for me to understand. On a lighter note - I really need the character Caroline in this book. She gives a breath of fresh air. She laughs, thinks and is practical. You do get to really know several characters in this book, the same characters return time and time again. I don't think anybody should avoid this book if you want a long, gripping story of the Irish experience. IF you think what is bothering me would also bother you, then maybe think twice.

Through page 458: Actually my previous comment is wrong. I do care about these people. The whole situation is so horrible. Even the strongest of the Irish themselves say that part of the probelem is the Irish themselves. They have been misstreated so long and so terribly that they have no will any more. It is hard to watch. It is so depressing when the strongest of them "fills up his friend's glass with ale", when they give up, when they accept defeat, when all that is enjoyable is another drink, when the two buddies accept to never see each other again. I have a hard time accepting such defeat. I know enough history to know that others too have gone through equally hard times and they have not succumbed to liquor. They have not accepted defeat. Maybe it is necessary to die fighting, but at least you go on fighting. This is so depressing. OK, maybe I am suppose to feel the horror so I can accept how some of the Irish have resorted to terrorism and violence. And the humor in thiz book is only sarcastic; there is no joy visible ever in these poor people's lives.

Throgugh page 410: What is happening is simply horrible. I ought to care more. I don't know whose fault that is - the author's or mine! But we all know what has happened to the Irish people is horrendous.

Through page 375: If you like a good, long epic story about a family I recommend this book. I have no trouble understanding why lots of people like it. Escape into that family and time and place. But I find it rather predictable. No, I don't know EVERYTHING that is going to happen, but when something happens I just think: OK, fine,that happened. I don't really care terribly much. I do not want to discourage people who like this kind of STORY. It is simply a GOOD story. Somehow that isn't enough for me.

"In the ensuing half hour Brigid made full disclosures (to Father Cluny), which included rolling in the grass and hay with him(her boy friend), pressing her body to his deliberately and enjoying it to the point of allowing further liberties on her breasts and three times between her legs, however with clothing in between.

Since the death of Father Lynch, Father Cluny had been receiving a great number of retroactive confessions. Some were more serious than this, some were better. He was thinking in terms of declaring a general amnesty rather than have half the parish serve penance. Their crops might rot what with all that praying."

Through page 250: I AM learning Irish history. I DO like some of the characters. Here is another book where the antics of the church make me happy I am NOT religious. BUT, when you start looking at how many pages you have read and how many are left AND when I keep going back to GR to check out other books rather than reading this - well then there is something wrong. It is a good story, but I am simply not emotionally engaged.

Through page 124: I wouldn't say the characters are terribly nuanced. Some, partucularly Caroline Weed, are amusing. She is so outspoken. The relationship between her and her father is as direct as it could be. Would a daughter act as she acts in the 1880s? I think it is possible, although not usual. It IS amusing. On a completely different issue, that of how the British viewed the Irish, I cannot help but make a comparison to how, today, the Jews in Israel look upon the Palestinians. Both the British and the Israelites see the indigenous people as being lazy, good-for-nothing scoundrels. They feel they have brought prgress and knowledge to the uncultivated, uneducated and lazy people from whom they took their land. Of course I am generalizing here; not every one behaves so badly. I personally have heard this view from a woman I know currently living in Israel, so the comparison just smacked me in the face.

Through page 60: I had mixed feelings when I started this book. First of all I HAD to read it and that is not a good way to start a book. I am getting into the book, and I am enjoying it. It follows two struggling Catholic families living in the small village Ballyutogue situated on Lough Foyle in Ulster. You learn about the family ancestors and their role in Northern Ireland's history starting at the beginning of the 19th century. The reader clearly understands the antagonism between the Scotts who were Presbyterian, the Irish Catholics and the ruling English(Anglicans). The Scotts were kicked out of England and came to get a better life in Ireland, but there they never had the high status of the English. The English encouraged the Catholics and Scotts to see each other as enemies. The winner was of course the English. Then the potatoe famine of the 1840s brought terrible suffering to the peasants, both the Catholics and the Presbyterians. Uris does a vey good job of allowing the reader to understand the horror of the potatoe famine. It is September and all the stored potatoes turn black. This is the peasants ONLY source of food through the coming winter and how could next year's crop be owed if all was destroyed. These people had nothing to begin with and then also no food. How do you feed your children. Can you imagine the horror? Then of course those who should help don't. This is a scenario we see that continues today. The history is clear. Some may say it is black and white, but this is a general description of what happened. Obviously some Englsih did try and help, but they were in any case few and far between, and not enough to turn the tide of disaster. On another issue, you learn alot about Irish customs, superstitions and village life. The wake at a funeral was fun to read about - the importance of spirits and fairies, the partying and lamenting are all rolled together. Another plus are the wonderful maps all throughout the book.

Xmas present from my Mom who is Scotch - Irish. She says that is where we got our tempers from.
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Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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David ! :-)

Chrissie Yup - here goes.

Laura great book!! I loved it..

message 4: by Chrissie (last edited Jan 27, 2010 08:06AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Chrissie Laura, some people love it and some hate it so I do not know at all what to expect! And it is so long - I was kind of interested in continuing with my art binge which somehow got diverted from South American literature. I simply have to read Trinity first - out of kindness to her. Makes me feel good that you liked it. I am a totally terrible liar so I am hoping I can report back to her that I like it. It is important that I stay positive about the whole thing, and your comment helps me do that. THANKS!

Laura this book is quite interesting, it took me few days to read it, believe me.

message 6: by Misfit (new)

Misfit I read this waaaaaay back in high school. I remember enjoying it (and a few other of his books).

Laura yupiieeee Chrissie is going to read it!!

Chrissie WONDERFUL - now I feel better and better. I read Exodus ages and ages ago so I really don't know what I thought of it or if I would think the same now.

Laura I heard a lot of people critize Exodus but since Trinity was recommended by an Irish author, I decided to trust her and I don´t regret it, on the contrary.

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