Thursday, June 25, 2015

Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly 551 pages

Oh my!  I loved this book.  I may just sit back and read all 551 pages again.  It begins in "before times" in Ireland.  Before the famine, before death, starvation and mass immigration to "Amerikay".  Honora Keely is supposed to join the convent in 2 weeks, on her 17th birthday, but up from the sea arises Michael Kelly.  It is love at first sight and their destinies are sealed.  But life in Ireland is not easy.  The Irish work as serfs, planting the fertile Irish fields only to have their crops shipped off to England.  Their diet consists of the pratties, (potatoes), and fish.  So when the blight hits, they are desperate.  Millions succumb to disease, fever, and starvation.  Millions also leave the land and traditions, the family they love, and travel to "Amerikay", to find work and survive.  And survive, thrive they do.  In American cities like Chicago.  The children grow into strong, intelligent and talented adults, leaders in their communities, hard workers.  But as time goes on, they lose a bit of the "Irish", forgetting their lyrical native tongue, the emerald green of the Irish fields, but not the love of family, the strong ties that bind and the love of a good story or reel.  Mary Pat Kelly is the great-great-granddaughter of Honora Kelly, the main character in this book.  This is a story passed down thru the ages, because after all, "We didn't die."

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