Friday, October 31, 2014

Review: Gracelin O'Malley by Ann Moore

Ann Moore brings to life the haunting beauty of nineteenth-century Ireland and its tumultuous, heartbreaking history in the first novel of her critically acclaimed trilogy

Gracelin’s father, Patrick, named her for the light of the sea that shone in her eyes. But joy and laughter leave the O’Malley clan when Gracelin is six-and-a-half and tragedy befalls the family. Less than a decade later, Gracelin must put her romantic dreams aside and marry a local landowner, the son of an English lord, to save her loved ones from financial ruin. Although she is a dutiful wife to capricious Bram Donnelly, Gracelin takes dangerous risks. With political violence sweeping through Ireland and the potato blight destroying lives, she secretly sides with the Young Irelanders, among them her brilliant brother, Sean, and the rebel leader Morgan McDonagh.

Set against the rise of the Irish rebellion, with a cast of unforgettable characters led by the indomitable eponymous heroine, Gracelin O’Malley weaves a spellbinding story of courage, hope, and passion.

ebook, 400 pages

Published September 30th 2014 by Open Road Media Romance (first published January 1st 2001)

I love a historical saga, stories that I can get lost in, ones that stay with me long after I finish reading.  Stories that tell me a part of history I know next to nothing about. That is exactly what Gracelin O'Malley is.  Ann Moore has written a powerful book that takes the reader back to 1840's Ireland.

There is no denying that the author has done a lot of research here and knows both her location and time period quite well.  The hardships the Irish endured between the potato blight, disease and the English were vividly recounted here.  It wasn't just the vivid description of landscape and dress but more, the language and tone of this book made for an enjoyable read.

Gracelin is only young when first introduced, but it isn't until after her marriage that she comes in to her own.  She didn't marry for love, but rather to help her family.  She is strong, loyal and compassionate, but she is also human and suffers heartache and grief.  She isn't the only strong character in this book, there are numerous which adds much to this book.

Gracelin O'Malley  is a very realistic and believable book, one of my favorite books of 2014.  

Advance Praise

“Lyrical, pitch-perfect prose . . . Historical fiction at its finest.” —Publishers Weekly

“An Irish saga so lilting and elegantly written you’ll be hearing Irish music in your head.” —New York Times–bestselling author Eileen Goudge

“Truly great fiction . . . a grand historical novel . . . full of triumph, full of tragedy, full of hope and strength of spirit.” —The Historical Novels Review

“An epic saga that sweeps you into the life of a remarkable woman.” —Romantic Times

“If you love the lilt of Irish laughter and understand the river of tears that runs beneath it, you’ll take Gracelin O’Malley to your heart and keep her there long after you’ve finished reading this beautiful book.” —New York Times–bestselling author Cathy Cash Spellman

“Vivid historical detail.” —Kirkus Reviews


Ann Moore was born in England and grew up in the Pacific Northwest region of Washington State. An award-winning author, Moore holds a master of arts from Western Washington University. Her trilogy of historical novels - Gracelin O'Malley, Leaving Ireland, and 'Til Morning Light-has been published internationally and enjoys a wide readership of enthusiastic fans. Moore and her family live in Bellingham, Washington.

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