Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Galway Bay...A Great Novel

March's Bloggy Book club choice was Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly and it is a beautifully written historical novel.
From the prologue

We wouldn't die and that annoyed them. They'd spent centuries trying to kill us off, one way or another, and here we were, raising seven, eight , nine of a family on nothing but potatoes and buttermilk. But then the blight destroyed the potato. Three times in four years our only food rotted in the ground. Nothing to eat, the healthy crops sent away to England. We starved. More than a million died- most of them in the West, which is only a quarter of the country, with Ireland itself just half the size of Illinois. A small place to hold so much suffering. But we didn't all die. Two million of us escaped, one reaching back for the next. Surely one of the great rescues in human history. We saved ourselves, helped only by God and our own strong faith. Now look at us, doing well all over the world. We didn't die.

Honora Keeley Kelly
born 1882. Told to her great-granddaughter Agnella Kelly,
Sister Mary Erigina, born 1889, and
reported to the author, Honora's

The prologue had me...I hadn't even read the first page and this quote pulled me into the novel.
The statement... "Two million of us escaped, one reaching back for the next." just seemed so sad and beautiful at the same time!

Galway Bay is a novel about one family's epic journey from Ireland to America...it is a journey of great tragedy and sadness but shows what incredible strength and resilience people can have. This novel spans six generations from the Great Starvation to the Civil War...it is beautifully written and inspired by the author's family history.


Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

Wow! A personal history recounting makes it so much more interesting! Seems like a great book... you are wise to just give us a taste, and make us crave for more!!

Jennifer said...

Oh I like the sounds of that book! The prologue definitely piqued my interest!!

♥georgie♥ said...

great review Ronda...this is now how i find new books to read...reading others reviews of the book

Diane said...

Sounds like a good one. I'm reading Firefly Lane now... so far, so good. Thanks again!

Rhonda said...

Wow! That sounds like a good one!

Karyn said...

Oooh, sounds like a great read. My great-grandmother came over from Ireland.