For The Love of Ireland by Judy Leslie (Women’s Historical Fiction/Romance)
Susanna Burney does a good job narrating the story. Her female voices are varied and easily enjoyable. Her male voices, while not decidedly masculine, are convincing once you become accustomed to hearing them in contrast to the feminine ones. Her pacing is excellent. She portrays characters’ attitudes well in her reading of their dialogue, and she conveys the tone and the movement of the story in a way that retains listeners’ attention.
Book Review: For the Love of Ireland
This story focuses on some of the history surrounding Ireland’s struggle for freedom in the late nineteenth century. Readers experience this struggle through the eyes of the female protagonist, Margaret Sullivan. I categorize the book as women’s historical fiction. Through the perspective of the protagonist, listeners experience the social inequality of women during this time in history. In addition, the author, Judy Leslie, provides an abundance of information regarding women’s participation in Ireland’s determination to free itself from England’s hold, including interesting details about their involvement in the Irish Land League.
Overall, Judy does a good job of incorporating Ireland’s conflict into a fiction that allows readers and listeners to experience the cruelty and unfairness of the British toward the Irish. She also illustrates some of the ways in which the Irish mistreated one another in ongoing battles for personal power.
While there is an element of romance in the story, romance is not at the forefront. However, the feelings between the protagonist and one of the Irish Republicans add an engaging layer to the story. At times, this peripheral romance provides lightheartedness, humor, and the flush of first love. At other times, the author manages to create an almost painful tension between the protagonist and this character.
The author excels in her creations of major and minor characters. They are realistically human in their behaviors and motivations. While I didn’t care for the attitude of the protagonist regarding a certain situation, I still enjoyed reading about the fate of Ireland during the time frame covered in this book.
With just the right amount of description and setting, it is easy to become immersed in this time period. One of the aspects that I liked best about this book is that the storyline constantly moves forward without being bogged down with unnecessary plot-repetition. Events unfold in a manner that keeps readers engaged and wanting to know what’s going to happen next. They also unfold in ways that keep readers interested in finding out the final outcome, the final fate, of the principals in this story.
An audio-sample of the book is available here.
Bibliography: For The Love of Ireland by Judy Leslie
Length: 9 hrs. 20 minutes (unabridged)
Publisher: ©2012 Judy Leslie