Happy Reading

Toni's bookshelf: read

The Godfather of Kathmandu (Sonchai Jitpleecheep, #4)
Ape House
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
Operation Napoleon
Walking Dead
The Sentimentalists
The Heretic Queen
The Midnight House
Cross Fire
Peony in Love
Finding Nouf: A Novel
City of Veils: A Novel
First Daughter
A Place of Hiding
Peter Pan

Toni Osborne's favorite books »

Saturday, February 18, 2012

" Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show", by Frank Delaney

The story is set in 1932 Ireland, a time when tensions are high due to the upcoming elections and the endless rhetoric by those vying for power. Ben McCarthy narrates this story as a man in his 50's reflecting on events that took place when he was an 18 year old on the verge of manhood.

The first 100 pages take us back and forth between NYC and Ireland and between members of the Kelly and McCarthy families. Mr. Delaney carefully weaves a tapestry of characters that surround and are connected with Venetia in some way. He has a wonderful way with words and a unique style of putting history into perspective, he slowly introduces his characters and takes us on little side journeys to help us remember each ones name and personality before eventually developing the in depth part of the story, at that point the suspense kicks into high gear and you’re hooked. 

Ben in his innocence and naivety recounts in a rambling and colourful voice how his father while attending the “Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show “delivered a shocking revelation. His father has decided to abandon the family for Venetia, the skilled ventriloquist and beautiful performer who has won his heart. Ben is sent back home by himself to deliver the devastating news to his mother. Overcome with emotion and not thinking clearly she repeatedly sends young Ben back to find his father and try to convince him he is needed at home. The young man’s path will not only cross with a flamboyant theatrical family but also with the ambitious and unscrupulous politician Thomas “King” Kelly. Ben eventually falls under the same spell as his father, Venetia and her charms has a far greater effect on the vulnerable young man drawing him even deeper into her lair.

Mr. Delaney’s lyrical prose brims with intrigue and humour, spinning a tale that is more than a family suspense story, it is also one of love, ambition, friendship, deception and murder, a well-crafted Irish drama filled with many vibrant characters.

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