Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Book Review: Gracelin O'Malley By: Ann Moore

Title: Gracelin O'Malley
Author:Ann Moore
Pages: 398
Personal Rating:5/5
Number read this year:6
total pages read this year:1,392

From the back cover: Life has not been easy for Gracelin O'malley. only fifteen when she married the local English landlord to save her family from financial ruin,she has tried her best to be a dutiful wife, providing him with an heir. Despite her husband's escalating cruelty, Gracelin's spirit remains unbroken, though she is no longer the innocent country girl she once was. As famine devastates the land, she openly defies him by feeding the desparate souls who come to her door. As political unrest sweeps across the countryside, she harbors Irish rebels-her own brilliant brother among them-keeping them hidden, as well, the deepest secret of her heart. And as a disaster threatens those she loves most, Grace fights to keep them alive, her profound courage inspiring everyone around her.

My persoanl thoughts: This book really brought the Irish potato famines to life for me. I was able to see the suffering of those poor Irish farmers, as they lost their homes and lives at the hands of ruthless, wealthy English landlords, who only cared about getting paid, leaving the poor in ditches, dying of hunger and yellow fever.

This was a hard read for me, emotionally, because while I was reading, I kept reminding myself that while this particular story and the characters within were fictional, the events were based on something that really happened. People DID starve and suffer in this tragic way, and that reality was heartbreaking.

I have the sequel to this one, Leaving Ireland,and am looking forward to reading it later this year, I have some challenges I need to read for and library books as well to finish first though.

I rated this a solid 5 out of 5 for solid plot, history research,and the ability to yank at my hearstrings. I would reccomend this one to anyone, but especially those with Irish background who care to learn more about their heritage and background. Amazing book! A job well done, Ann Moore!