Saturday, March 21, 2009

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

I recently participated in a Blog Tour for Galway Bay but at that time I had not completed reading the novel. A summary of the book and links to some additional information provided by the author can be found in my Blog Tour post.

Galway Bay is an fantastic book. Kelly shows how the events of history unfold to affect one family and the impact over the generations. The characters in this book are amazing. Honora Kelly displays a great strength as she helps save her family from starvation, brings her children to America as a widow, and then worries for her boys as they fight in America's Civil War. As a reader, I could feel the strength of the emotions in this book as well as the pangs of their hunger. The characters truly come alive off the pages.

Kelly sprinkles some Irish phrases into the dialogue which adds to the authentic feel of the book. There is a glossary in the back of the book which aids in understanding these terms although many can be understood simply from their place in the text.

Through telling the story of one family, Kelly truly tells the tale of the millions who fled Ireland during the starvation to create new lives for themselves in America. I would highly recommend Galway Bay as a rich, historical novel and as a novel of family. The book also contains a reading guide which would make it an ideal book club selection.

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