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Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly
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Galway Bay

by Mary Pat Kelly

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Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
"Epic" is the first word I would use to describe Galway Bay. The words "rich" and "lyrical" would follow. Mary Pat Kelly fully captures the tragedy and triumph of the 19th century Irish emigration.

Michael and Honora Kelly, young newlyweds, begin their life together on a small patch of land overlooking Galway Bay. Michael is a bagpiper and blacksmith by trade. He's the owner of a prized racehorse and plans to breed her and sell the colts. Honora's family are hardworking fishermen and she and Michael plant potatoes to feed their family and pay the required rents to their English landlords.

The plight of the Irish is well-documented. The English, who came in and took over, tried to do all they could to force the proud Irish people from their lands. Their heartless cruelty comes through, and these strong people resist as long as they can. But, after blight kills the potatoes three times in four years, Michael and Honora finally realize they need to leave Ireland for America.

Danger and adventure await them in America as Honora, her sister Maire and their seven sons set forth to find Chicago and Michael's brother, Patrick. The strength of these two women is remarkable and inspiring. Based on the author's great-great-grandmother,Honora's story is one that will captivate you. The Irish people have a strong reputation for storytelling and Galway Bay is the fascinating story of a woman who wants to protect her family and her Irish heritage. ( )
  2kidsandtired | Aug 2, 2016 |
"Epic" is the first word I would use to describe Galway Bay. The words "rich" and "lyrical" would follow. Mary Pat Kelly fully captures the tragedy and triumph of the 19th century Irish emigration.

Michael and Honora Kelly, young newlyweds, begin their life together on a small patch of land overlooking Galway Bay. Michael is a bagpiper and blacksmith by trade. He's the owner of a prized racehorse and plans to breed her and sell the colts. Honora's family are hardworking fishermen and she and Michael plant potatoes to feed their family and pay the required rents to their English landlords.

The plight of the Irish is well-documented. The English, who came in and took over, tried to do all they could to force the proud Irish people from their lands. Their heartless cruelty comes through, and these strong people resist as long as they can. But, after blight kills the potatoes three times in four years, Michael and Honora finally realize they need to leave Ireland for America.

Danger and adventure await them in America as Honora, her sister Maire and their seven sons set forth to find Chicago and Michael's brother, Patrick. The strength of these two women is remarkable and inspiring. Based on the author's great-great-grandmother,Honora's story is one that will captivate you. The Irish people have a strong reputation for storytelling and Galway Bay is the fascinating story of a woman who wants to protect her family and her Irish heritage. ( )
  2kidsandtired | Aug 2, 2016 |
Great concept, but way too many unbelievable circumstances. Honora, a young girl of Ireland born in the 1800's, marries a young man who is a musician. Soon children are born, but times become very hard with the onset of the potato famine. Britain rules Ireland and times become even worse when grain is shipped out of Ireland while the Irish peoples starve. Honora's sister, Maire, loses her husband and finds herself working the home of a British overseer and bears him three children. Honor's beloved Michael also dies. Soon Honor and Maire with eight children between strike out for Americkay. Landing in New Orleans, they make their way up the Mississippi to the still new Chicago searching for Michael's brother, Patrick Kelly. Patrick has become somewhat of a legend and hero to the Irish for his work in fighting the British.

The story is easy to read, but there are too many coincidences which make it almost "soap operaish" at times. Patrick's unforeseen appearance on Christmas, the finding of an Irish neighbor's son during the Civil War, etc.

There is a lot of Irish and Chicago history including the Great World's Fair and the affect of the Civil War. ( )
  maryreinert | Jan 21, 2016 |
O us Irish descendants rejoice! Here is a book that breathes life into the perpetual struggle of the Irish people.
I loved this book. In fact I wish I wrote it! Because of years of researching my genealogy, the story of my family has been brewing in my head. And Mary Pat Kelly wrote it! This story is rich- with love, history, death, betrayal and beauty. It is well written, lyrical and believable. Not since I read Frank Delaneys' Ireland have I felt so connected to my Irish ancestry. Thank you Ms. Kelly!!!! ( )
1 vote hsudonym | Aug 2, 2011 |
I wanted to love Galway Bay, by Mary Pat Kelly. I was hoping it would be one of those really great sagas that stay with you forever. Sadly, I couldn't put this book behind me quick enough.

Much that I found fault with relates to Kelly's writing style. Not only did I find the dialogue to be a bit cloying, but more disappointing was her inability to bring her character's feelings across. There is never any proof or evidence of what her characters say they feel. They simply say it, (out of context), and so it should be. Additionally, for a novel supposedly about the hardships of the Irish people, the Kellys of the story always seem to come out on top; the magical Uncle Patrick never fails to show up just in the nick of time to save the day--for everyone--always. (Is that why Honora loves him?)

I think Ms. Kelly had the elements at hand to create a memorable novel, but lacked the skill. Hype over this book has been widely exaggerated, in my opinion. I wish her editor had brought a stronger hand to the project. ( )
1 vote dissed1 | Apr 9, 2011 |
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For Honora's children down through the generations
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Ah, the sun. Rising for me alone--the only one awake to see dawn fire the clouds and watch Galway Bay turn from gray to blue.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446579009, Hardcover)

Here at last is one Irish family's epic journey, capturing the tragedy and triumph of the Irish-American experience. In a rousing tale that echoes the myths and legends of Ireland herself, young Honora Keeley and Michael Kelly wed and start a family, inhabiting a hidden Ireland where fishermen and tenant farmers find solace in their ancient faith, songs, stories, and communal celebrations. Selling both their catch--and their crops--to survive, these people subsist on the potato crop--their only staple food. But when blight destroys the potatoes three times in four years, a callous government and uncaring landlords turn a natural disaster into The Great Starvation that will kill one million. Honora and Michael vow their children will live. The family joins two million other Irish refugees in one of the greatest rescues in human history: the Irish Emigration to America. Danger and hardship await them there. Honora and her unconventional sister Maire watch their seven sons as they transform Chicago from a frontier town to the "City of the Century", fight the Civil War, and enlist in the cause of Ireland's freedom. The Kelly clan is victorious. This heroic story sheds brilliant light on the ancestors of today's 44 million Irish Americans.

In the author's colorful and eclectic life, she has written and directed award-winning documentaries on Irish subjects, as well as the dramatic feature Proud. She's been an associate producer on Good Morning America and Saturday Night Live, written books on Martin Scorsese, World War II, and Bosnia, and a novel based on her experiences as a former nun - Special Intentions. She is a frequent contributor to Irish America Magazine and has a PhD in English and Irish literature.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:17 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"In the bestselling tradition of Frank Delaney, Colleen McCullough, and Maeve Binchy comes a poignant historical family saga set against Ireland's Great Starvation and the building of Chicago."--Provided by the publisher.

» see all 2 descriptions

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