Monday, November 4, 2013
'Tis a tale of the old country
The author states that she has a fondness for genealogy and this novel demonstrates her interest and passion. The story follows Maura Donovan who comes to a small village, Leap, in County Cork. Her gran, Nora raised Maura and her dying wish was that Maura return to the village where Gran lives in her younger days.
The picturesque village of Leap is made up of many people named after their relatives so we see a number of characters with the same name. This is confusing to Maura but she is enchanted by the tradition. She is told to go to Sullivan's Pub and will receive directions to the friend of her grandmother's who corresponded with her, Bridget Nolan.
Soon after Maura's arrival, a body is found in a bog. The person might have been there for half a century and is the talk of the town as to who it might be.
The owner of the pub had recently died and Maura takes a job there as she tries to learn more about her family and the land surrounding them.
Many people come to Sullivan's to interact with each other and share the latest gossip. Maura meets them as they arrive and interacts with them.
A man is murdered in the neighboring town and this becomes a bigger source of interest. Then, Maura finds a letter in the bar's papers. This is from a man in Australia trying to find about his ancestors and his missing uncle. Maura thinks that this might be the man in the bog and brings the info to the police but someone tries to run her car off the road and intimidate her.
Many people are related to each other and befriend her. Two managers of the pub ask her to remain in Leap until the ownership of the pub is determined.
This is a delightful story of identity and life's goals. Maura has nothing to tie her to Boston and comes to love the area and its inhabitants. She fits into her new surroundings easily and stands up for herself with the person trying to scare her into leaving.
I enjoyed the story and Maura's infatuation with the land and people who we find were related to her in distant ways.