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Torn Asunder

4.43  ·  Rating details ·  23 ratings  ·  15 reviews
He is an inspiring journalist, but Emmet Ryan has no idea that his words have the power to destroy those he loves the most. This is a story about a conflicted man, opening in Dublin, 1916 and set during one of Ireland’s most turbulent eras.
Paperback, 312 pages
Published November 14th 2019 by Toadhollow Publishing
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Average rating 4.43  · 
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Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
The complexities and tragedy of 20th century Irish history are skillfully conveyed by Renny deGroot in this readable and intelligent historical fiction novel. Beginning in 1916 at the time of the Easter Rising we follow the tortuous and bloody path to the creation of the Irish Free State by following the equally tortuous and conflicted life of journalist Emmet Ryan. All the major events are here. The rising itself, the subsequent suppression, the Croke Park massacre of 1920 and The Irish Civil W ...more
Bonnye Reed
Feb 27, 2020 is currently reading it
Pub date November 14, 2019
Received Feb 27, 2020
Mary Yarde
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing

"Ireland should belong to the Irish."

Was that such a difficult concept to understand? It seemed rather simple to the men in the Ryan family. Emmet Ryan was determined to follow in the footsteps of his father and his elder brothers and join the Fingal Volunteers despite what his mother might say on the subject. He was sixteen, he was a man, and he was determined to be a part of Éirí Amach na Cásca, The Easter Rising. Even after the subsequent internment of the Fingal Volunteers, Emmet felt that T
Sharron Elkouby
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Torn Asunder traces the struggles of three generations of the Ryan Family, set against the background of Ireland's struggle for independence in the first half of the twentieth century.
Once again, R. deGroot paints a clear picture of an exciting historic era while creating sympathetic characters so realistic, they jump off the page and tear at our heartstrings. Torn Asunder asks the question: Does one choose country over family, and at what price?
Mar 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Torn Asunder by Renny DeGroot was an interesting story about a man and his association with the movement of Irish independence. It begins the weekend of the Irish Uprising in 1916 and takes us all the way from Emmet being 16 years old through the middle of World War II and his daughter's involvement. The story all takes place in Ireland and certainly helped clarify the entire situation there. It's always being very confusing with people seeming to switch sides regularly. That is certainly not th ...more
Jamie Jack
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: p-2020, historical
I am an Irish-American who actually studied one summer in Dublin, Ireland. So I definitely found myself curious about this book when I saw it at a book review site. The author has managed to strike the balance between showing an accurate history and showing its effects on one man and his family. The first several pages detail the list of actual historical persons mentioned in the book. Reading it is like reading a mini history of the attempted Irish Revolution that happened in the early years of ...more
Mary Markstrom
May 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was attracted to this book because I am fascinated by Irish history. My mother was Irish and I remember her stories about this period of Irish history. Names like Michael Collins, Devalera, the battle of Ashbourne and Fingal's Volunteers are all familiar to me and this book brought it to life. I remember my mother singing about Kevin Barry and Shaun South who are also mentioned in the book. The characters are engaging and I Felt involved with them. Added to this was an absorbing narrative.

Dave Wickenden
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Torn Asunder is in-depth look at the Irish Fight for freedom starting from the Easter Rising in 1916 until 1943 as seen through the lens of one patriotic family. It begins with Emmet Ryan, who at 16 yrs takes part in the Easter Rising with his father and brothers. He witnesses the horror of men being killed as they attempt to cut the bonds of British rule.

As some enter the dark and vicious fight, Young Emmet fights for the cause through his words as a journalist. He keeps an accurate account of
Bob McCrillis
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Renny deGroot has managed to sneak a whole lot of wonderful Irish history into a compelling tale of competing principles. Just how far should one go for a cause before retreating to home and hearth? How can one not admire Emmett's willingness to shed blood for his beliefs but when is enough enough? Growing up with stories of the Easter Rising and the Civil war in the 1920's, I never thought about the wives and families of these heroes or how difficult it must have been to turn their backs on the ...more
A_Place_In The_Orchard
May 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
An enthralling look at Ireland through one of the most turbulent periods in her history, as shocking as some of he episodes related are shameful, and though the history itself is disguised as literary fiction, that does not buttress the reader from the knowledge that a lot of the events described here (or something very similar to them) actually happened. Routinely.

the book is, perhaps, a little overlong, and it's easy to lose your way inside the story. But overall, it's well worth your time. An
Mar 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
What a captivating, passionate and interesting novel! Set in Ireland from 1916 till ca. 1952, we experience first hand Irish fights towards independence. Some fight with their (armed) fists, others with their spoken and written words. Are you a coward if you don't take arms? Or do words carry more weight? What consequences bear on a family man? A page-turner, this novel is also well of information about Ireland's history. A great read. ...more
Pam Chantrell
Jun 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
This book was very well researched and well written in an easily read format. Covering several decades of Irish history in the early to mid 20th century, I felt that I learned a lot about the background to "The Troubles" and the feelings that were present at the time. The characters were well drawn and well rounded and I became invested in their stories and situations that they found themselves in. I read this in one day and was sad when it ended. Recommended. ...more
Eileen Koenig
Mar 29, 2021 rated it liked it
Slow start but picked up after a few chapters.
gj indieBRAG
Jul 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
We are proud to announce that TORN ASUNDER by Renny DeGroot is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree. This tells readers that this book is well worth their time and money!
ChillwithabookAWARD With
Apr 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Torn Asunder by Renny DeGroot has received a Chill with a Book Readers' Premier Award.
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Renny deGroot-MacKinnon is a first generation Canadian of Dutch parents. She was born in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Her debut novel, Family Business, was shortlisted for the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize. Her second novel, After Paris, has been well received by fans of Historical Fiction and her new novel Torn Asunder, published late 2019 has garnered several readers’ awards including from the Coffee Pot Bo

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