More Harm Than Good: The Kilteegan Bridge Story-Book 3 by Jean Grainger – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Rosepoint Rating: Five Stars 5 stars
“He always joked that in other cultures, there was a lot of talk and very little action, whereas in Ireland the reverse was true.” 

Book Blurb:

Kilteegan Bridge, Ireland 1974

More Harm Than Good by Jean GraingerFor each member of the O’Sullivan family there are turbulent times ahead.

Eli’s need to do his best for his patients is a cause for a bitter divide in the community. Emmet seems hell bent on going down a path in life his parents dread but they’re unable to stop him. Jack’s life and liberty are in grave peril as his secret faces exposure, while Emily’s troubles are, it seems only just beginning with the return of someone she would much rather had disappeared forever. And Maria must decide, is blood really thicker than water, and should family always come first, no matter the cost?

In More Harm than Good, the Kilteegan Bridge Series continues, as the modernity of the 1970’s challenges Irish traditional ways, and generations clash, sometimes with deadly consequences.

My Review:

Master Irish storyteller Jean Grainger adds Book 3 to the emotional family drama Kilteegan Bridge series. Book 3 has progressed to the mid-70s (from the 50s in Book 1) to a strong climate of changing Irish attitudes. It’s hard to change and change doesn’t come easy.

Eli and Lena have seen their little ones become teens and the teens are exploring and rebelling as teens are wont to do. Some of the rebellion is serious and will spell major upheaval for both Lena and Eli as well as the extended family, all of whom face desperate problems of their own.

More Harm Than Good by Jean GraingerWhat secrets are Jack and Skipper keeping? Emmet and Nellie? Too young to know what they don’t know, too young and naïve to be aware they are being played. Too inexperienced to know what to do or where to turn. But they are family. And family sticks together always and takes care of one their own—in one way or another.

Don’t they?

I love the way the author builds her characters into flesh and blood. The village of Kilteegan so real, atmospheric, the people under the heavy hand of the Catholic Church that governs with an iron fist and manipulates their lives.

I love that daft sense of humor she brings to her tales. The analogies often break the tension just when it’s needed and never fail to bring a smile or chuckle.

“…sometimes you’re as useful as an ashtray on a motorbike.”

The narrative needs an occasional break from the serious turn into themes of religious control, homosexuality, unwed pregnancy, and mental illness. A couple issues are dealt with strongly and sympathetically, possibly revealing a more lenient attitude than the issues provided at the time.

I love it when Jean Grainger releases another novel in one of her series. I read both Book 1 The Trouble with Secrets and Book 2 What Divides Us and loved this addition, although it could be read as a standalone. The author can weave a historical chronicle into an Irish family drama that clutches at the heart and leaves ripples of familiarity. Few have not confronted a similar situation and easily understand the impact.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts and I’m looking forward to Book 4. Recommended!

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Book Details:

Genre: Historical Irish Fiction, Historical British Fiction, Historical Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Fiction
ASIN: B0BFXLYXJK
Print Length: 280 pages
Publication Date: November 15, 2022 – Happy Release Day!
Source: Author contact

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble

 

Jean Grainger - authorThe 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.

[truncated—please see author’s page for full bio]

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 V Williams

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Lessons from Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog by Dave Barry – a #BookReview

Lessons from Lucy by Dave Barry

Five Stars  Five stars

Title: Lessons from Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog by Dave Barry

Genre: #1 United States Literary Criticism, #2 in Cat, Dog, and Animal Humor

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

  • ASIN: B07CL5PVDB
  •  ISBN-10: 1501161156
  • ISBN-13: 978-1501161155

      Print Length: 241 pages

Publication Date: Happy Release Date! April 2, 2019

Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link: Lessons from Lucy

Book Blurb:

Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and bestselling author of Dave Barry Turns 40 now shows how to age gracefully, taking cues from his beloved and highly intelligent dog, Lucy.

Faced with the obstacles and challenges of life after middle age, Dave Barry turns to his best dog, Lucy, to learn how to live his best life. From “Make New Friends” (an unfortunate fail when he can’t overcome his dislike for mankind) to “Don’t Stop Having Fun” (validating his longtime membership in a marching unit that performs in parades—and even Obama’s inauguration), Dave navigates his later years with good humor and grace. Lucy teaches Dave how to live in the present, how to let go of daily grievances, and how to feel good in your own skin. The lessons are drawn from Dave’s routine humiliations and stream-of-consciousness accounts of the absurdities of daily life, which will leave you heaving with laughter and recognition.

Laugh-out-loud hilarious, whether he’s trying to “Pay Attention to the People You Love” (even when your brain is not listening) or deciding to “Let Go of Your Anger,” Dave Barry’s Lessons From Lucy is a witty and wise guide to joyous living.

#1 New Release in Mid-Life Management

My Review:

Lessons from Lucy by Dave BarrySoon as I saw a book offered in NetGalley from Dave Barry, I jumped on the request. And a book about his dog, Lucy? YES, please! I have long been a fan of this author’s columns and would catch it in whatever vehicle I had that ran it. Paper? Sure before they gave way the same as eight-tracks. His columns never failed to provide a knowing nod, a chuckle, or laugh out loud moments. And while I don’t agree with all of Mr. Barry’s philosophy, I certainly agree that the man can find humor in just about anything and this book highlights that ability.

While the narrative doesn’t open new doors in wisdom, create new cosmic thought on life with dogs (or life itself), it is certainly written in an entertaining and satisfying manner. The author points out seven major lessons bestowed on Dave and his family by Lucy, their ten-year-old mixed-breed rescue. Dave’s keen wit and inspired observations of human behavior, metaphors for dog behavior, generally hit just where you’ve been. He sums up each lesson:

Lesson 1: Make New Friends, (And Keep The Ones You Have) Just don’t try to find them in a bar amazing them with your ability to smell asparagus metabolite.

Lesson 2: Have Some Fun Getting old sucks. (Or is that AARP?) Join something like the (World Famous) Lawn Rangers (yes, they use a broom and a lawn mower and perform in parades). Or as Barry did, join the Rock Bottom Remainders termed by Roy Blount as “Hard Listening,” composed of famous authors such as Stephen King and Amy Tan (but I doubt you’d recognize her), among others.

Rock Bottom Remainders on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson

Lesson 3: Pay Attention to the People You Love (Not Later, Right Now) Please, don’t ask him about “diversity training” as opposed to “mindfulness training.”

Lesson 4: Let Go Of Your Anger, Unless It’s About Something Really Important, Which It Almost Never Is. Among his list of top five things he is exceptionally good at, besides sarcasm and ridicule (that’s just too easy cause you already knew that!), is his knack for developing an instantaneous hatred for people he doesn’t know. (That would definitely include the cable TV company, “Bomcast”)

Lesson 5: Try Not To Judge People By Their Looks, And Don’t Obsess Over Your Own. (…a book by its cover.)

Lesson 6: Don’t Let Your Happiness Depend On Things; They Don’t Make You Truly Happy, And You’ll Never Have Enough Anyway. Learn the definition of GAS – “Gear Acquisition Syndrome” and the necessity of storing lentils.

Lesson 7: Don’t Lie Unless You Have A Really Good Reason, Which You Probably Don’t. Two reasons not to lie: (1) It’s wrong, and (2) It’s stupid. Be like Lucy, “if you mess up, fess up.” A dog can look amazingly guilty, whether or not they are, but they usually know when they are.

This is a pseudo-self-help book from a skeptical self-help book hypocrite. He doesn’t ascribe to them. Even he can’t believe he wrote it. Normally, he is a snarky, cynical Pulitzer prize-winning columnist and bestselling author. It was intended to be a book about dogs. But there were so many parallels he could draw from his reflections.

It’s honest, sincere, and authentic. Also humorous, appealing, and a feel-good novel about dogs. As the author says, every dog he has ever owned has been THE BEST DOG EVER. It is a great read that I wholeheartedly recommend. I received the ebook download from the publisher and NetGalley. I so appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Thank you!

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Dave Barry - authorThe Author: The New York Times has pronounced Dave Barry “the funniest man in America.” But of course that could have been on a slow news day when there wasn’t much else fit to print. True, his bestselling collections of columns are legendary, but it is his wholly original books that reveal him as an American icon. Dave Barry Slept Here was his version of American history. Dave Barry Does Japan was a contribution to international peace and understanding from which Japan has not yet fully recovered. Dave Barry’s Complete Guide to Guys is among the best-read volumes in rehab centers and prisons. Raised in a suburb of New York, educated in a suburb of Philadelphia, he lives now in a suburb of Miami. He is not, as he often puts it so poetically, making this up. Find Dave Barry at http://www.davebarry.com/

©2019 V Williams Blog author

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