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1921 by Morgan Llywelyn
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The second book in the Irish Century series picks up where the first book left off, with the aftermath of the Easter Rising, and takes us to the creation of the Irish Free State and the separation of the six counties that comprise Northern Ireland. It is a hefty, thoroughly researched book—actual statements or dialogue are often used, as indicated by the occasional endnote.

I found this really hard to get into, and some of the issues I had with the first book were present in this one as well: namely, the sex scenes, which I felt were unnecessary and embarrassing when I was reading this on the bus. And the dialogue felt more info-dumpy than I remember the first book’s dialogue feeling. I’m not sure whether the change in attitude was governed by change in format (the first book was a mass market paperback, whereas the second was a trade paperback) or personal circumstances (I’ve been really distracted and tired this month) or just having had my reading taste change dramatically in two years (I read the first book in 2016).

I’ll have to think carefully about whether I want to continue the series, or whether I should just get a non-fiction book about 20th-century Ireland instead. And now I’m looking suspiciously at my copy of Llywelyn’s Finn MacCool… ( )
  rabbitprincess | Dec 14, 2018 |
The story of Ireland’s struggle for Independence from Great Britain is continued through the eyes of Ned’s friend Henry Mooney. As a well-respected reporter Henry travels the countryside to recount the many battles and political maneuverings which took place in the attempt to free Ireland from the clutches of the United Kingdom. Read the rest of the review on my blog: https://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.com/2015/02/12/1921-the-great-novel-of-the-... ( )
  ShouldIReadIt | Feb 11, 2015 |
Unfortunately, it turned out to be just another history book with flat fictional characters pasted in between the facts. ( )
  christineplouvier | Apr 20, 2014 |
Llywelyn mixes fiction with a large dose of fact and history in this novel of the struggle for Irish independence. The fictional journalist Henry Mooney rubs shoulders with Michael Collins, Eamon de Valera, Cathal Brugha, and other real-life key figures in the republican and free-state movements. The story builds momentum as it progresses and is propelled in part by extensive research, which helps in understanding the pain and bitterness resulting from this period in Irish history. ( )
  Hagelstein | Aug 26, 2009 |
A long historical fiction novel that didn't win me over right away. I felt like her style was a little choppy/awkward, and her characters somewhat underdeveloped. The farther I read, though, the better the plot and dialogue seemed to flow. Also, Llywelyn had some really beautiful passages describing the Irish countryside, the war, and the Irish people. It really drew me in, took me back to a time that Llywelyn had obviously researched really really well. Is this woman Irish?? Or just a really good linguist? Anyway, loved the book: entertainment and an education on the Irish Revolution/Civil War all in one. ( )
  KendraRenee | Dec 26, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812570790, Mass Market Paperback)

The Irish fight for independence is one of the most captivating tales of the twentieth century. Morgan Llywelyn, the acclaimed historical writer of books like Lion of Ireland, Bard and The Horse Goddess, is the writer born to bring this epic battle to life. Having created an entire body of work chronicling the Celts and Ireland, she now turns to recent Irish history to create a multivolume saga: The Irish Century.

1921 tells the story of the Irish War of Independence and the heartbreaking civil war that followed. Henry Mooney, a reporter for theClare Champion and the Irish Bulletin, is a self-described "moderate nationalist" who struggles to see the truth in the news of the day, and to report it fairly. Lacking more radical Republican beliefs of his dear friends Ned Halloran and Sile Duffy, Henry reports the political--and later, bloody--actions of his fellow Irishman from the ashes of the failed 1916 Rising to the creation of the Irish Free State to the tragic and wide-ranging battles of the Irish Civil War.

Meanwhile, Henry feels the impact of these history-changing events in his own personal life. His friendship with Ned falters when their political beliefs diverge, and an unexpected tragedy leaves them further apart than ever. Henry struggles with his passion for a well-bred Protestant Anglo-Irish woman, Ella Rutledge, and as he dutifully reports the events in the political battle for independence, he comes to realize that the Irish struggle for freedom wil leave no life untouched--and no Irish citizen with a dry eye or an untroubled heart.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:10:49 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The struggle of the Irish people for independence is one of the epic tales of the 20th century. Morgan Llywelyn has chosen it as the subject of her major work, The Irish Century, a multi-novel chronicle that began with 1916, and now continues in 1921, both a story and a history. The two big historical names in 1921 are Eamon de Valera and Michael Collins, both famous, mysterious, and familiar Irish figures. The year 1921 is the year of the Irish Civil War and the year of the separation of Ireland into two nations, south and north. The central character is Henry Mooney, a journalist (based upon the author's grandfather), who struggles for truth in his reporting during the terrible conflict and falls in love with an Englishwoman in Ireland in the midst of political and military horrors.… (more)

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