Growing Wild in the Shade by Jean Grainger
A Mags Munroe Story (The Mags Munroe Series Book 2)
If you want to disappear, start again, make a new life, a small Irish village is probably not the wisest place to go, since anonymity is not something we do well here.
The arrival of someone new is always a cause for twitching curtains and whispered conversations.
But here, like everywhere, people have their secrets, and as the local sergeant I’m expected to have my eyes peeled for anything unusual.
And I do.
Until I don’t, and the consequences are potentially fatal.
Once past St. Patrick’s Day, if you need an “Irish fix” there is none better than picking up a Jean Grainger book. The author has that understated ability for placing you in the center of the Irish village set in the book you are reading—in this instance—Ballycarrick, Ireland.
It’s a book filled with characters, the MC being Mags Munroe, a newly promoted Sargeant in the local Garda. She has taken on the duty of coaching her community, settle conflicts, prejudices, and little offenses. She is married to Kieran, an independent roofer. Also prominent is Mags mother and Delia, newly minted Garda and also a Traveller, which is the main focus of this narrative.
As always, however, there are several under-plot threads one being her mother’s new love life and Mags own grapple with menopause. Her husband is living in fear of her being hurt again, last time seriously and they must come to terms with that aspect of her job.
It sounds like the little town of Ballycarrick is torn right down the middle regarding moving the Travellers from an area for which they’ve long been occupants without benefit of ownership. There are those who would move them to the area of another family of Travellers who are not so carefully or cleanly law-abiding. The Travellers are looked down on in any case and this provides an opportunity for proselytizing. Some good arguments here that sound as if they’d be the same for many of similar situations around the globe.
“She is only the monkey; Joanna Burke is the organ grinder.”
It is the everyday life though that the author manages to wheedle out of the pages, the little struggles, triumphs, and solutions brought about through thoughtful consensus. It is life in every village, every city—human life with bits of candor and clarity–and that iconic Irish sense of humor.
I received an advance copy of this book from the author that in no way influenced this review. These are my unbiased thoughts.
Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars
Genre: Women’s Detective Fiction, Women’s Crime Fiction, Women’s Literary Fiction
Print Length: 246 pages
Publication Date: Happy release! July 18, 2022
Source: Author request
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The Author: USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR
SELECTED BY BOOKBUB READERS IN TOP 19 OF HISTORICAL FICTION BOOKS.
WINNER OF THE 2016 AUTHOR’S CIRCLE HISTORICAL NOVEL OF EXCELLENCE
Hello and thanks for taking time out to check out my page. If you’re wondering what you’re getting with my books then think of the late great Maeve Binchy but sometimes with a historical twist. I was born in Cork, Ireland in 1971 and I come from a large family of storytellers, so much so that we had to have ‘The Talking Spoon’, only the person holding the spoon could talk!
I have worked as a history lecturer at University, a teacher of English, History and Drama in secondary school, a playwright, and a tour guide of my beloved Ireland. I am married to the lovely Diarmuid and we have four children. We live in a 200 year old stone cottage in Mid-Cork with my family and the world’s smallest dogs, called Scrappy and Scoobi..
My experiences leading groups, mainly from the United States, led me to write my first novel, ‘The Tour’. My observances of the often funny, sometimes sad but always interesting events on tours fascinated me. People really did confide the most extraordinary things, the safety of strangers I suppose. It’s a fictional story set on a tour bus but many of the characters are based on people I met over the years.
My current series, The Queenstown Series, centres on twelve year old Harp Devereaux and her mother Rose and the first book opens on the day Titanic sails from Queenstown, Co Cork on her last fateful journey. It is a bestselling series and people really seem to connect to the precocious Harp and her hard-working mother as they battle to survive in a society where conforming and playing by the rules was paramount. It is so far a three book series, The West’s Awake, and The Harp and the Rose being the next two books but I’m currently writing book four.
Many of the people who have reviewed my books have said that you get to know the characters and really become attached to them, that’s wonderful for me to hear because that’s how I feel about them too. I grew up on Maeve Binchy and Deirdre Purcell and I aspired to being like them. If you buy one of my books I’m very grateful and I really hope you enjoy it. If you do, or even if you don’t, please take the time to post a review. Writing is a source of constant contentment to me and I am so fortunate to have the time and the inclination to do it, but to read a review written by a reader really does make my day.
©2022 V Williams