Robert Fornes Fornes itibaren Ayipettai, Tamil Nadu, Hindistan
My father was born and raised in Northern Ireland. My grandmother still lives there. I remember visiting Belfast in the early 80's, when armed checkpoints etc were common. I enjoy history, especially history which has touched my family, so the partitioning of Ireland and the resulting "Troubles" are interesting to me. My great-grandfather signed the Ulster Covenant in 1912, which was in protest of the Home Rule Bill that had been introduced. The years following that event, and WWI were filled with violence and anger in Ireland as the IRA formed and catholics fought for their freedom from English rule. Those years make up the bulk of this book. Eileen O'Neill is a young girl living in Ulster with her family. Her father is a dreamer, a musician who is much better at the craic than he is at running the family farm. After a series of tragedies, Eileen and her younger brother find themselves homeless and alone. Eileen starts working at the local mill to support her family and to save money to one day reclaim what she has lost. As she grows up, she becomes attached to two very different young men. The warrior brother of her best friend who is passionate about Irish freedom, no matter the cost, and the son of the owner of the mill, a protestant and Quaker. As the years pass and the violence in Ireland grows, she finds herself caught between the two men who have taken different sides in the battle for her heart and her country. While the ending was a bit predictable, overall, I found the book interesting and easy to read.
This book was very disturbing. She does a really good job of putting you in her head as she goes through this maddness. I'll never watch her in Ally McBeal the same way again. I've read a couple of reviews saying that she should have used a ghost-writer, or an editor. I disagree. I think she did a very good job, and if the book had been tighter and more stream-lined, it would have really taken away from the "here, in my head" aspects of the book.