by Kathleen Costa
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an e-book copy of House of Eire, and a link to purchase it from Amazon.
Hillary Broome exhausted from meeting her last ‘ghost writing’ deadline frets about ‘murky’ dreams of her mother long since having abandoned her and her father. But the upcoming vacation/long-over-due honeymoon in the Emerald Isle with her husband Ed, daughter Claire, and surrogate-mother Sarah will be a needed refreshment. Hillary will be meeting a few people, including friend Bridget Murphy, and exploring her paternal family who had emigrated to America after the famine and tuberculosis epidemic. Bridget says she’s found some interesting details, and can’t wait to share.
Skyping with her friend Bridget, she learns Dermot Connolly, a West Coast Donald Trump type with Irish ancestry, wants to develop Pot O’ Gold, a Disneyland-type amusement park, in Galway, Ireland. The community is thrilled about the economic boon this tourist magnet is projected to bring, including Bridget, who has been hired as a consultant to provide authenticity in the park’s venues. But, a year into the project, Bridget has a change of heart wanting to include a memorial to the struggles of the Irish alongside the roller coasters and themed rides. The ‘downer’ is not acceptable to Connolly, who indicates its an amusement park not a history lesson, but her concerns of the overuse of stereotypes is starting to resonate with other locals.
Seamus Hanrahan, a local solicitor vying a big pay day should the park get built, is charged with changing Bridget’s focus. He has tried many different tactics, including money, position, and wooing, but nothing is working, and he fears Connolly will try to use his version of the Irish Mafia to shut down her protests permanently. Can he get the community back on board? Will Bridget’s research derail the project? Is Hillary putting her family in danger?
I enjoyed this third Hillary Broome adventure. June Gillam offers great characters with enough opportunities for the reader to ponder the argument of development vs community identity. The Irish fascination with ghosts, ancient sites, Yeats, and waters with special powers are woven into story as Hillary and her family take in the Irish culture from Dublin to Cork to Galway. The murders disrupt the family vacation and Hillary tries to uncover the truth, but she procrastinates a bit more than one might if finding the truth is paramount in her motivations; heading off on a tour of the countryside seems out of place, when a key piece of evidence is waiting for her to explore. However, the story is great, I enjoyed the style of descriptive writing, and I was led once again to google the sites mentioned and head off on my own virtual tour of Ireland. Hey, Bucket, add Ireland to the list!
Her other Hillary Broome novels are House of Cuts, House of Dads, and House of Hoops (coming soon).
House of Eire by June Gillam has earned 5/5 Pots o’ Gold and a bouquet of shamrocks!
To enter to win an e-book copy of House of Eire, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “eire,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 10, 2016. If entering via email please include your mailing address, and if via comment please include your email address.
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