Mandolin's Reviews > Galway Bay

Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly
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's review
Mar 16, 2011

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Read from March 16 to 29, 2011

Hunger, loss, despair and death....the story of the Irish who suffered through the Great Potato Famine of the mid-nineteenth century is a dark one but is also one of triumph, as the author of Galway Bay adeptly shows in this sweeping epic that follows Honora Keeley and her family from the idyllic "before times" when she met her dashing husband Michael Kelly through the horrible years of loss both in Ireland and in her new homeland of America and into a promising future. The horrors not only of the potato blight but also of the inhumane treatment of the Irish by their English overlords and by their new American neighbors are well chronicled and show just how low humanity can sink. But, despite the atrocities they saw and felt, the Kelly family survives and triumphs. (As Michael says, "When I watch the sun down in Galway Bay, all those wonderful colors remind me that a God who created such beauty couldn't abandon us forever.") In addition to the wonderful historical chronicle of those years, the book is rich in legend and Irish folklore that add just the right amount of magic to make it well worth the read, despite its length.

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