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Ireland – A Novel

Ireland, a novel by frank delaneyThis novel was reccommended to me when I began talking to a friend stateside about Eamonn Kelly’s book.

“Ireland: A Novel” is an epic tale of young Irishman’s coming of age and his fascination with a mysterious seanchai (seanchai is Irish for “storyteller”). The novel is peppered with enjoyable narratives as related first-hand from the seanchai and other characters.

As opposed to colloquial stories about rural life (what one might expect from a typical Irish stories), many of the stories told in the book are concerned with pivotal events in Irish history. From a story about the man who built Newgrange to a firsthand account of the 1916 uprising, the seanchai depicted in Delaney’s novel seeks to, in his own words, “tell the story of Ireland”.

I have to say I enjoyed reading this – it breezed by with the imbedded stories often overshadowing the main narrative.

This is definately a good book to read for those considering a visit to Ireland. Ireland: A Novel is very readable and covers Ireland’s history in broad, readable strokes that would help the uninitiated understand a bit more about this country and the major events that have shaped its character. It is an idiosyncratic peek at the place, but it presents Ireland as a place well worth exploring, full of stories to discover.

Delaney, an ex-patriot author with a history of broadcasting in the UK, shows a sincere affection and reverence for Ireland in this, his first US-published novel.