In the 1980s, Ireland was on the brink – the Celtic Tiger was yet to arise and change the face, and faces, of Dublin with prosperity and foreigners. Volatile anger, shimmering myths and lachrymose poetry still ruled the night as rough-hewn workers and lost university students hefted pints at Grogan’s pub.
Stepping into the swirling blend of the old and the new is Janice, a young painter from Toronto, who has crossed the ocean to seek passion in her life and her art. Her affair with Aidan, Ireland’s rising poet, leads her through the veil of the Celtic Twilight to a place of reward and danger in Peter Murphy’s stunning debut novel LAGAN LOVE (The Fiction Studio, June 7, 2011).
Drawing on Ireland’s rich history and mellifluous ability to speak legend into art through such Irish geniuses as William Butler Yeats and James Joyce, Murphy weaves a tale that draws on Celtic lore as much as the hard facts of economic recovery. Into the lives of Janice and Aidan and their more practical friends walks the mysterious Gwen, who may be far more than the beautiful seductress she seems on the surface.
Trailing Gwen like cigarette smoke in a tavern is the myth of the lenanshee, a fairy spirit who inspires lovers to ever-greater creative heights – at a price. Can the levelheaded Sinead, who has dedicated herself to seizing new career opportunities, or the kind and romantic Ronan, keep their friends from being swept away by the Ireland that dwells just beneath the surface?
Evoking the days when the love for Ireland was hidden in the lyrics about a beautiful woman in the classic 15th-century song, My Lagan Love, Murphy’s freshman novel reveals the complex layers of his homeland – as bracing as a pint on a chilly Dublin evening.
I really got swept up into this story. I do have to mention that it took me a chapter or two to find my "groove"with the author's style. He is very descriptive and this is definitely NOT a bad thing and actually added to the story but it took me a bit to get into it. There is also some profanity in the book. It is not done in a very vulgar way and is appropriate in how you would imagine the characters to speak but it is there. The story line was complex and interesting and a real study in relationships. I really enjoyed the story of Janice, Aidan and Gwen but I found it so interesting how Murphy wove Irish myths in as well. Very well done and it made for great reading. Once I got into the swing of the book I could not put it down! This one gets a thumbs up from me and can be found on Amazon...
Two lucky RBM readers will win a copy of Lagan Love by Peter Murphy. Thanks so much to the sponsor and here is how to enter...
*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and I was provided with the above mentioned book for purpose of review. The thoughts expressed are my own and have not been edited for content.