Galway Bay

Galway Bay

Book - 2009
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In a hiddenIreland where fishermen and tenant farmers find solace in their ancient faith, songs, stories, and communal celebrations, young Honora Keeley and Michael Kelly wed and start a family. Because they and their countrymen must sell both their catch and their crops to pay exorbitant rents, potatoes have become their only staple food.

But when blight destroys the potatoes three times in four years, a callous government and uncaring landlords turn a natural disaster into The Great Starvation that will kill one million. Honora and Michael vow their children will live. The family joins two million other Irish refugees--victims saving themselves--in the emigration from Ireland.

Danger and hardship await them in America. Honora, her unconventional sister Máire, and their seven sons help transformChicagofrom a frontier town to the "City of the Century." The boys go on to fight in the Civil War and enlist in the cause ofIreland's freedom.

Spanning six generations and filled with joy, sadness, and heroism, GALWAYBAYsheds brilliant light on the ancestors of today's forty-four million Irish Americans--and is a universal story you will never forget.
Publisher: New York : Grand Central Pub., c2009
ISBN: 9780446697101
Branch Call Number: KELLY
Characteristics: 567 p. ; 24 cm


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ChristchurchLib Mar 28, 2016

In 1839, 17-year-old Honora Keeley is on the verge of entering a convent when a handsome man emerges from Galway Bay and sweeps her off her feet. It's love at first sight for blacksmith Michael Kelly as well, and the couple marries and settles down to a life of farming. Then the potato blight arrives, causing widespread famine and death. Could emigrating to America save Honora and her growing family?

Aug 03, 2014

Highly recommend this book! The story kept me enthralled right to the very end.
Although a tragic story of famine, disease and war,many heart warming moments relieve the bleakness and despair of the Great Starvation.

Oct 06, 2013

This book will grip you from the beginning! It is the story of a family's struggles during the great Irish famine and how they handled all the horrors that struck them. The characters are well defined and you will feel like you know them personally. They have triumphs and tragedy through the years. You will see what family meant to them and what they were willing to do to survive.It spans several generations as they immigrate to America and what awaits them. It is a wonderful, sad, beautiful book, guaranteed to make you grateful for what you have. Highly recommend this book!

Mar 30, 2009

The idea of this book intrigued me, as my g-g-grandmother immigrated from Galway. However, I was not prepared for a 550 page long "sweeping family saga"! As one Amazon reviewer wrote: "Galway Bay is many stories - a love story, a story of the history of Ireland and the Great Starvation, a story of courage, faith, devotion, family, community and the undying spirit of a land and it's people."
The detail & history of the 'before times' & the 'great starvation' was overwhelming. I personally felt it was too much for me! Beautifully written, I would have been happier if it were broken up into a series of books rather than one large one. Especially since once they arrive in the US, there seemed to be fewer details.

It would be nice if there were a TOC, to show that there was a glossary of Irish terms at the back of the book! It would also be nice to have an appendix which listed what parts & people in the story are actually true.

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