in Historical Irish Fiction
Kilteegan Bridge, Co Cork, Ireland. 1975
Lena Kogan is thrilled when her son Emmet invites her to the opening of his first building in San Francisco. It’s awkward that she will be staying with Emmet’s father Malachy Berger, but he’s in a serious relationship now, and anyway, he knows how Lena feels about Eli, so surely they can just be friends.
Her sister Emily, is less adventurous. She’s happy to stay at home with her family and a thriving business, that is until her daughter Nellie drops another bombshell on her about what she plans to do next. A move nobody could have anticipated and few support.
Her brother Jack is living contentedly on his farm with Skipper, until a couple of late-night visitors cause them to risk everything they’ve guarded so carefully. Intervening to help could mean exposure in a state where men like them are on the wrong side of the law, but some things are just too important to ignore.
In this final book of The Kilteegan Bridge Story, the O’Sullivans come to a silent understanding of each other and of themselves.
I’ve read each of the episodes in this series and must admit that Book 4 (When Irish Eyes are Lying) hit hard and unexpectedly. So it was with some trepidation that I began Book 5.
This installment in the Kilteegan Bridge series brings back the tragedy with Lena and Eli, the story of Nellie and her ill-fated visit to San Francisco and continued the sweet and tentative interest between Emmet and Wei. It also sees additional development with Rosa Abramson and her pursuit of WWII reparations for Jews. Following Malachy’s new knowledge of his father’s and grandparents’ involvement in the theft of property during that time, he volunteers a project that would benefit the people as well as involve his biological son, Emmet.
In the meantime, new characters Katie and Maggie O’Neill are runaways from the local Catholic orphanage where their treatment is less than loving. But they cannot continue to hide with Jack and Skipper, two bachelors, and given their relationship must find other safe quarters for the young girls.
While the author’s books can get complex with multiple sub-plots, each is interwoven within the tight family and small rural, primarily Catholic-based community. Nellie has decided on a vocation unexpected that shocks her mother. Nellie’s new BFF, Sister Martina becomes a solid sympathetic character as well as one who provides a consistent story with that sense of humor we’ve come to expect of a Jean Grainger novel. (Wish I’d known about St Columbanus, the patron saint of motorcycles, back when I was riding my motorcycle, but have to admit St Michael kept his hand on me more than once.)
The atmospheric visions of rural Irish life that include an enormous family line that extends in all directions provide a gripping and emotional plot. It is a well-paced and complicated storyline that manages to confront a number of topical domestic issues.
At this point, having fully engaged in previous installments, there are issues most readers will want to see settled as they hope. The conclusion neatly gathers all remaining strings left hanging or unresolved and carefully addresses each issue and in the Epilogue quietly closes all disturbing threads. As with all families, particularly large extended ones, there are multiple and private issues, and within the family perhaps while quietly acknowledged—still remain private.
I received an ARC copy of this book from the author and publisher that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts. Currently on pre-order.
Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars
Genre: Historical Irish Fiction, Historical Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Fiction, Family Life Fiction
Publisher: Gold Harp Media
Publication Date: March 1, 2023
Source: Author ARC
Title Link: A Silent Understanding (Amazon)
The Author: JEAN GRAINGER
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.
[truncated—please see her full bio on her Amazon author page]
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.
©2023 V Williams