Friday, March 9, 2012

Finished two books this week.

Ireland - by Frank Delaney,  he was the author of the month in January, in the Irish Book Club on Ravelry.  The book is about a boy who meets a travelling Story Teller when he is 9.  he is absolutely fascinated by the man.  An altercation with the boy(Ronan)'s mother sends the man packing.  Ronan spends the rest of his childhood up into the beginning of his University years obsessing about the man.  he collects  stories and recollections about the man.  Hunts down people who have had contact with him.  Also learns of the stories he tells, immersing himself in the history of Ireland. He ends the book in pursuit of his PhD in history. At the end of the book there is an interesting twist regarding, Ronan, the storyteller, his father, mother and aunt.

As some of you who know me better know, I have a long standing fascination with Ireland.  I think it started when I was younger and almost half of my neighborhood was of Irish descent.  There were also a lot of Italians and a few other groups around, but  being Irish drew my curiosity.  Most of my best friends were Irish.  As someone who is throroughly a mutt - I really don't identify with any of my national origins- and maybe this is why it seemed so odd.  My friends of Italian descent were italian Americans, others were german Americans or jewish Americans.  But my friends of Irish descent were IRISH americans.  Many of their grandparents were from Ireland - and I found them fascinating.

The stories in this book - from prehistoric NewGrange to post WWII - this book describes the soul of the Irish.

William Trevor was the author for  February, so I picked the Story of Lucy Gault.  This is a tragic tale - of a retired soldier married to an Englishwoman with one child Lucy.  After an attempted arson, the family is to move to England.  Lucy doesn't want to go.  She runs away. An item she lost weeks earlier washes ashore, leading everyone to believe that lucy has drowned.  After searching the beaches and coastline for her body - her parents try to run from her memory and the guilt over her death across Europe,  losing contact with the caretakers of their estate.  Lucy is found half starved, in the woods where she had fallen badly hurt, but alive.  I won't spoil the actual story - but it is a tragedy of people living empty lives in the wake of all this.  From the arsonist, to her parents, to Lucy there is no love that can fill the void.

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