Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Blog Tour: Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly


Title: Galway Bay
Author: Mary Pat Kelly
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: February 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover, 576 pages
Age Group: Adult

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Summary: Here at last is one Irish family's epic journey, capturing the tragedy and triumph of the Irish-American experience. In a rousing tale that echoes the myths and legends of Ireland herself, young Honora Keeley and Michael Kelly wed and start a family, inhabiting a hidden Ireland where fishermen and tenant farmers find solace in their ancient faith, songs, stories, and communal celebrations. Selling both their catch--and their crops--to survive, these people subsist on the potato crop--their only staple food. But when blight destroys the potatoes three times in four years, a callous government and uncaring landlords turn a natural disaster into The Great Starvation that will kill one million. Honora and Michael vow their children will live. The family joins two million other Irish refugees in one of the greatest rescues in human history: the Irish Emigration to America. Danger and hardship await them there. Honora and her unconventional sister Maire watch their seven sons as they transform Chicago from a frontier town to the "City of the Century", fight the Civil War, and enlist in the cause of Ireland's freedom. The Kelly clan is victorious. This heroic story sheds brilliant light on the ancestors of today's 44 million Irish Americans.

My Thoughts: I will admit that I have not yet completed reading Galway Bay. It is a lengthy book but definitely worth it. I have just begun the third part out of five and I am in love with this story. Mary Pat Kelly brings so much life and strength into her characters. I can feel the despair and the determination, the hunger and the heartache, and the overall will to survive in the face of extreme adversity.

More Information: Mary Pat Kelly has written a couple of articles about how this book came to be and all the research she did about her family history while working on the story. Those articles can be found here and here. Mary Pat Kelly will also be participating in a Blog Talk Radio broadcast at 11:00 am EST today! More details can be found here.

For more thoughts on Galway Bay, check out some of the other blogs participating in today's blog tour:

Thank you to Miriam at Hachette Book Group for providing me a copy of Galway Bay for this blog tour.