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The Beach at Doonshean

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  65 ratings  ·  23 reviews

In Ireland, the past never dies...

Long ago, on a windswept Irish beach, a young father died saving the life of another man's child.

Thirty years later, his widow, Julia, decides to return to this wild corner of Ireland to lay the past to rest. Her journey sparks others: her daughter Bel, an artist, joins her mother in Ireland, while son Matt and daughter-in-law Rachel,

Kindle Edition
Published August 15th 2019 by Aria
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Average rating 3.91  · 
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Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a poignant read of the past and the present, a family saga which showed how life turned out for 2 families, where a decision taken in the past had ripples of effect in the future.

A father William saved the life of another man's son and lost his life in the bargain. 30 years later, his wife Julia came back to the same beach where she met with the child saved, now a grown man, Tom.

My first book by author Penny Feeny, I loved the landscapes of the beach of Ireland, where the tag line tha
If you’re looking for a book that explores the dynamics and challenges of family life and relationships as well as the lasting impact that past events can have on the lives of those involved, then you need look no further than The Beach at Doonshean. Furthermore if, like Julia, you believe that coincidence is much more common than you imagine, you certainly won’t be disappointed. And for good measure, there are lovely descriptions of the landscape and coastline of western Ireland.

‘At its lowest
I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. It spoke to the dysfunctional nature of families. Even the most stable families can be a tad dysfunctional on the inside.

The characters were all fully developed and people who I enjoyed meeting via the printed page.

"Were all families the same, Bel wondered: existing in a delicate state of checks and balances, compromise and negotiation?"

The settings were deftly described and easily imagined by the reader. The beautiful Irish landscape near the sea and the suburba
Grace J Reviewerlady
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There's something about novels set in Ireland which attract me like a moth to a flame, and this is latest one I have so enjoyed.

Many years ago, Julia lost her first husband - and the father of her son - to a freak accident on an Irish beach. Understandably, she has never returned .. until now. Having recently retired and now divorced from her second husband with whom she has a daughter, she has swapped residences with her now adult son, his wife and their young lad giving her an apartment in the
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to netgalley for an early copy in return for an honest review
First time reading this Author and thoroughly enjoyed this book
A fabulous story of love reflection and soul searching throughly enjoyed it and can highly recommend.
Aug 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If there's one thing this Ginger Book Geek likes, it's discovering new authors. Penny Feeny is definitely a new author for me. What sold the book to me even more was the fact that the story is partly historical and it is partly set in Ireland. I have Irish heritage and love to read stories set there. I couldn't wait to dive in and I started to read the book within about 5 minutes of having the book sent to my Kindle.
It didn't take me long at all to become addicted to reading this book. In fact a
Aug 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A dramatic, atmospheric and compulsive tale of secrets, passions and the ties that bind, The Beach at Doonshean tugs at the heartstrings and keeps readers on the edge of their seats with a beguiling blend of emotion, intensity and pathos.

Thirty years ago, on a windswept beach, a brave and valiant young man had not hesitated to give his life to save another. When he had seen a young child fighting for their life, this young father had selflessly brought a child back from the brink of death and su
Jan Fore
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Beach at Doonshean
Penny Feeny
August 15, 2019

Julia and William Wentworth, a young Irish couple lived near the beach at Doonshean. After stopping for a drink with their son, Matt, they started having a discussion of sorts that found them at ends with each other. William was tired of the talk and said he was heading home. Julia sat for awhile with Matt thinking over words spoken. William drove near the beach at Doonshean when he noticed a scuttle of people on the shore running and shouting. He
A story told in several perspectives, it all began with a death by drowning on the Irish Coast, as now some thirty years later the people have come to connect once again, some knowing, others not so much. Rachel and her husband Matthew with their young son Danny are living in Matthew’s childhood home, the one his mother and stepfather bought after his father drowned when they were on vacation in Ireland. Spending all of his life hearing about his “heroic” father, Michael is contained, restrained ...more
Aug 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first book by this author. I am drawn to books set in Ireland for some reason - some of my favourite authors over the years have been Irish and I know without reading the blurb on the back of the book that they will all be good reads. There is usually something magical or mystical about books set in the Emerald Isle.

The book follows 2 storylines which although they are linked could read as seperate stories. It explores how actions and events in the past impact on families as the years
Jul 24, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"They called it the secret beach" a secluded, not well-known beach in Ireland. Will stands on the ledge above the beach searching for his family when he hears the cries of a child and he can't tell if they are cries of excitement or fear. He sees a little boy lose his footing and topple into the water. Without hesitation, Will runs into the freezing ocean and only one person survives the water on that day.
It's now thirty years later and the story fast forwards to that same beach and town in Irel
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Beach at Doonshean is a beautiful isolated beach in Ireland, which is the setting of a terrible tragedy that begins this novel, and tells the story of how William Wentworth saved a child's life, Tom, that day in 1981 and come to lose his own. Many years later, Williams' wife Julia visits the beach and her life is again intertwined with Tom's family. This is an epic story of tragedy and loss and how events of the past affects family development, acceptance of grief and pain. This is all takin ...more
Jane Hunt
Aug 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
A heroic, yet tragic event affects the emotional development of two families connected historically by the tragedy on Doonshean beach.

The quality that resonates from this story is the family’s dysfunction. Superficially, Julia’s family seems normal, but dig a little deeper and the cracks appear. The characters are believable because they are flawed, and in some cases unlikable. Ronnie’s family is also divided. Her sons left at the first opportunity, and never fulfilled her hopes for them. Especi
Kathleen Gray
Aug 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
William saved Tom from drowning thirty years ago- but he lost his own life. His widow Julia remarried, raised Matt, her son by William, and Bel, her daughter by her second husband Leo. at the same time, Tom Farilley grew into his own. This big fat family saga is about how things turned out for everyone and how they cope with it when Julia and Tom meet again. The characters are well drawn and sympathetic (well, not always). I loved the descriptions of the beach. Thanks the Netgalley for the ARC. ...more
Kerry Britnell
Oct 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read a few books by Penny Feeny now and am already aware that she can build beautiful pictures in your mind of the locations she uses and again she doesn't fail on this occasion. Being from an Irish family it was nice to be transported back to the wilds of the west coast of Ireland.
The story is about how a single action has far-reaching repercussions for all concerned, a great well-written family sage showing that we are all dysfunctional in our own right.

Brilliantly written as always tha
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. A well written family saga which tells the consequences of one tragedy many years ago and how the past affects both families today. I enjoyed the characters and how they developed throughout the book. The location in Ireland was perfect - I could clearly visualise the setting as they are so vividly described by the author.

A great emotional saga, an ideal summer read.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an hone
Aug 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, net-galley
Julia returns to a village in Ireland where her husband lost his life saving a child. The storylines between her family and the family of the boy she saved become entwined. I loved the way she drew the characters- you really felt like you knew them well and I liked the way that the 2 settings ran side by side. I am keen to read more by Penny Feeny and I would love to know what happened next to the characters I've just left behind. ...more
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THE BEACH AT DOONSHEAN is a richly drawn family drama, set against the backdrop of the Irish coast. The characters wrestle with echoes of the past and the honest challenges of family dynamics in ways that felt true and very believable. I particularly loved author Penny Feeney's lush and vivid descriptions of the stark beauty of the beach and the landscape around it. A great summer read in the style of Maeve Binchy. ...more
Helen Manoli
Loved the story very likeable character's,working of a dysfunctional family loved Rachel and Matt,found a bit hard to understand Julian and her reason for going back to Ireland after so many years was not clear in the plot.I personally thought that some of the characters needed more work especially towards the end,it felt a bit rushed unless there is a sequel to the book. ...more
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good book, well written and engrossing.
I loved the plot, the fleshed out cast of characters and the setting.
This is a book full of emotions, a perfect summer read.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
Paula Peters
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great good. Started off well but I felt it dragged in the middle.
Sue Wallace
Jul 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The beach at doonshean by Penny Feeny.
A really good read with likeable characters. I liked Rachel she was my favourite. I liked the ending too. I also liked the cover. 4*.
Eileen Campbell
Nov 07, 2019 rated it really liked it

Enjoyable story, well written with an absence of unnecessary sentimentality. Would recommend readers to give it a chance. Would definitely read Penny's work again.
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