Saturday, August 02, 2008

An Irishwoman's Tale
By Patti Lacy
Published by Kregel
ISBN 978-0-8254-2987-3


Mary Freeman's earliest memory ahs haunted her since childhood: An old oaken table, bitter faces drinking bitter tea, a heated discussion of what's to be done with the "little eejit"—her. Now she is far removed from this family that didn't want her, and separated from her native Ireland. Living in the United States heartland, Mary searched out fulfilling roles—entrepreneur, wife, Christian, mother, community servant—but her loneliness and torment remain as acute as ever.

A crisis in her youngest daughter's life—and the encouragement of Sally, a plucky Southern transplant—propels Mary back to the rocky cliffs of her home in County Clare, Ireland. Her harrowing journey unveils her tragic past, and forces her face-to-face with God.


Patti Lacy's debut book, An Irishwoman's Tale is mesmerizing. Unable to put it down, I devoured it. Knowing the tale was based on a true story, I opened it wondering if Lacy could turn this story into good fiction. She did – in spades. The depth of emotion is equaled only by a multi-published author.

From the first page, I found myself cheering for this hapless child whom life pushed from one dysfunctional family to another. Lacy's narrative employs rich descriptions, bringing to life the wild and rocky cliffs of the Irish coast. Her characters do more than leap off the pages; they engage your heart.

Not often does a debut author pen a work that changes me. An Irishwoman's Tale did just that. Novel Reviews and I give An Irishwoman's Tale our highest recommendation. A five-star read.

Reviewed by Ane Mulligan

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