in Historical Irish Fiction
Kilteegan Bridge, Ireland. 1975
Despite the best efforts to the older generation to maintain standards, short skirts, long hair and loud music are all the rage in Kilteegan Bridge.
Emmet Kogan has set his sights on an education at the prestigious Stanford University in California, while his cousin Nellie also longs to get away, but for very different reasons. If she’s to escape too, it will mean wrapping herself in a web of lies, but it’s a price she’s willing to pay.
Lena and Eli are terrified they will lose their boy to the bright lights of America forever, while Emily and Blackie make a decision to keep a dangerous secret, despite knowing the damage such duplicity can do.
On the exciting streets of 1970s San Francisco, two young Irish people have to learn to navigate this new world of wonderful opportunities and dangerous vices, and learn that no matter how open and accepting a society is, there are always rules.
Rules that if broken, carry a heavy penalty.
This installment in the Kilteegan Bridge series had me ripping one direction and then another. I felt at the beginning like it might have been a bit of déjà vu with Lena.
Several storylines in this episode that included Nellie (déjà vu Lena), Nellie’s cousin Emmett and his birth dad Malachy, as well as Fintan Slattery’s misunderstanding of the power of the “Good People.”
Granted, I loved the insight into the “fairy” tales (the Good People) who can get downright dangerously vindictive when crossed. So many origins in our customs today that stem from ancient myths, gospels and superstitions handed down and still observed. (Leave the Hawthorn tree alone and do not violate the fairy ring!!)
To escape Nellie’s unhappy experience, she is invited and allowed to go to Palo Alto where Malachy is living with his birth father in preparation for going to Stanford. Another very eye-opening storyline that had me remembering my grandmother’s dread of what was happening in San Francisco. Totally involved in our own drama at home, however, none of that scary scene really touched me at the time. The drug and free love culture was spreading far afield, but I don’t remember it hitting Sacramento quite that hard. Or, maybe I was just that far removed.
Meanwhile, back at home in Kilteegan Bridge, Lena and Eli immersed in helping family Emily and Blackie takes a tragic turn, one that was gut-wrenching. I haven’t recovered from that yet and not happy with the turn the narrative has taken also hope it doesn’t go the way I suspect Book 5 will lead. Ms. Grainger pulled no punches in this one!
I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed each of the entries in the series, the last one More Harm Than Good, following each of the characters so well developed they are part of the neighborhood, I know and love them, each with immersive stories of their own. But this one hurt.
I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.
Rosepoint Rating: Four Stars
Genre: Historical Irish Fiction, Historical Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Fiction, Saga Fiction
Publisher: Gold Harp Media
Print Length: 285 pages
Publication Date: January 17, 2023
Source: Author ARC
Title Link(s): When Irish Eyes Are Lying [Amazon]
The Author: JEAN GRAINGER is a 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.
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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