St. Patrick's Day Reads
Despite it’s religious origins, St. Patrick’s Day has become a cultural celebration of everything Irish.
I am a huge fan of Irish authors and with St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, I thought I would highlight some of my favourite Irish novels.
The Secret Scripture By Sebastian Barry
Roseanne McNulty, approaching her hundredth year, has been a patient at the Roscommon Mental Hospital for the past 50 years. She decides to write a personal memoir recounting her life full of betrayal, intrigue and mystery. Roseanne’s chief psychiatrist is also investigating her past in order to assess her suitability for release into the community. The two narratives – often conflicting - come together in a surprising twist at the end. Set against the backdrop of the religious and political turmoil of Ireland in the twentieth century this is a gripping and intriguing novel.
Ireland: A Novel By Frank Delaney
This delightful, beautifully written novel, interweaves the folklore and history of Ireland with its powerful coming of age narrative. One night in 1951, a storyteller or ‘Seanchai’, mysteriously appears in the Irish countryside. In exchange for a place to stay, he invites the townsfolk to gather and listen to his wondrous tales of Irish folklore, legend as well as some factual history. A nine year old boy named Ronan is mesmerized by the Seanchai and his stories. When the Seanchai abruptly leaves, the boy devotes his life to finding him.
The Gathering By Anne Enright
Following the drowning of her brother Liam, Veronica attempts to make sense of the haunting and tragic events that have shaped the large Hegarty clan over the past three generations. This is a gripping, poignant and intense novel. Winner of the 2007 Man Booker prize.
What are some of your favourite Irish novels?