Another Irish Story

ONLY WITH BLOOD, by Thérèse Down,  Lion Fiction, 2015, 9781782641353

This review appeared in HNR Issue 75 (February, 2016)

Set in rural Ireland during World War II, this gripping story combines family drama with nerve-wracking political thrills. As 17-year-old Caitlin Spillane is sold into marriage with a much older man, certain Irish factions are trying to forge an alliance with Nazi Germany and overthrow the British. At first these strands do not seem to be related. Then Caitlin meets covert IRA man Donal Kelley, and the two plot threads start to intertwine in frightening, heartbreaking ways.

On her husband’s hardscrabble farm, Caitlin continues her schooling while cooking and cleaning for him. At first seeming like a reclusive boor, Jack Flynn soon emerges as a complicated man with tragic reasons for his behavior. He is old at 43, prematurely aged by his difficult life, and made ill by it. Caitlin detests him and the bargain her father made that trapped her into this marriage. She and Flynn mostly play fair, and she takes care of him stalwartly–albeit with little grace. Donal has hurt and compromised his own family, but makes up for it as best he can. He loves Caitlin from a distance, and manages at least in part to get back at the Spillanes for what they did to her. Donal makes a pivotal political decision during a moment of crisis that will change his life–and probably Caitlin’s–forever. This story’s resolutions at least provide satisfaction and closure for the reader, if not entirely so for the characters.

Readers should not start this book in the evening, or they will be up all night. A multi-layered, compelling page-turner, this is a must-read. Highly recommended.

22 Comments

  1. I blog frequently and I truly thank you for your content.

    The article has truly peaked my interest. I’m going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information about
    once per week. I opted in for your Feed as well.

  2. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox
    and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove me from that service?
    Many thanks!

  3. Howdy! I realize this is sort of off-topic however I needed
    to ask. Does operating a well-established blog like yours take a
    lot of work? I’m completely new to operating a blog but I do write in my diary every day.
    I’d like to start a blog so I will be able to share my own experience and
    feelings online. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or tips
    for brand new aspiring blog owners. Appreciate it! yynxznuh cheap flights

  4. I simply couldn’t go away your site before suggesting that I really
    loved the standard info a person provide in your visitors?
    Is gonna be again often in order to investigate cross-check new posts 3aN8IMa cheap flights

  5. Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the internet the simplest thing to
    be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people think about worries that they plainly don’t know about.
    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal.

    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  6. Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Many thanks, However
    I am experiencing troubles with your RSS. I don’t know the reason why I can’t join it.
    Is there anybody getting similar RSS issues? Anybody who
    knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanx!!

  7. I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a
    blog that’s both educative and interesting, and without a doubt, you have
    hit the nail on the head. The issue is something too few folks are speaking intelligently about.
    Now i’m very happy I found this in my search for something
    regarding this.

  8. What’s Going down i am new to this, I stumbled upon this
    I have found It positively helpful and it has helped
    me out loads. I am hoping to give a contribution & aid other customers like its helped me.

    Great job.

  9. Hello there! This is kind of off topic but I need some advice from an established blog.
    Is it very difficult to set up your own blog?
    I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast.
    I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure
    where to start. Do you have any ideas or suggestions?
    Cheers

  10. hi!,I like your writing so a lot! proportion we communicate extra about your article on AOL?
    I require an expert on this space to resolve my problem.
    May be that is you! Looking forward to peer you.

  11. That is really attention-grabbing, You’re a very professional
    blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to in the hunt for more of your wonderful post.
    Additionally, I have shared your website in my
    social networks

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *