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Shadow of a Century: An Irish Love Story by…

Shadow of a Century: An Irish Love Story

by Jean Grainger

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This story has two strands which seem totally unconnected initially. We first meet Scarlett who is a young reporter in New York and when scandal hits has to leave her job under a cloud. She meets Eileen an old woman who has been burgled and an unlikely friendship develops betwen them.

We then meet Mary who was brought up by nuns in rural Ireland and in 1913 she has to leave the orphanage and arrives in Dublin knowing no-one. Fortunately for her she becomes a maid in the Grant home where she is cared for by both Mrs Grant and her housekeeper Mrs Kearns. Before long she gets involved with the movement for Irish independence which will change the lives of her and those she loves for ever.

This is a great story which is in a large part about the struggle for Ireland to become free of British rule and tells the story well. Although I was aware of the Easter rising this story really brought it to life for me.

It didn't shy away from the violence on both sides or the sacrifices made by many and although fiction read as if a true story. In particular it was good to read about women as they are often seen as bit players when in reality can play just as big a part in changing the course of history.

Although it's called an Irish love story and that is part of it, there is much more to the stories told. How far would you go to defend what you believe to be right is at the very core of the story.

The friendship between Scarlett and Eileen develops well and through it Scarlett is able to come to terms with her past and look to her future. ( )
  Northern_Light | Aug 24, 2017 |
This is a fantastic story about the Irish uprisings in the early 20th century. The setting is well-described, the characters are real, and like most good Irish stories there is both love and tragedy. Any story that makes me cry deserves a 4 star rating. ( )
  LoisB | Mar 21, 2017 |
Many reviewers refer to the author's political views spoiling the story. I don't remember them so they obviously did not make much impression on me. Scarlett was a bit of a pain at the beginning but she did improve slightly as the story continued. I did enjoy the story about Ireland and Scarlett's friend, Eileen. I would read more from this author. ( )
  scot2 | Feb 20, 2017 |
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