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 »

Thursday, July 5, 2012

"The Matchmaker of Kenmare", by Frank Delaney

Set during World War 11 “The Matchmaker of Kenmare” is a lush novel rich in myth, sometime hilarious and at times heartbreaking, a stirring story of loss, friendship, romance and sacrifice. The protagonist Ben MacCarthy, an Irish folklore aficionado, narrates a very touching segment in his life as he wanders the country in search of his missing wife Venetia Kelly (we first met her in “Venetia Kelly’s Traveling Show”).

The story has a very slow start and opens with Ben meeting Kate Begley, known as the matchmaker of Kenmare. The two naively pride themselves of being neural during the start of the devastating war but as their relationship developed and the war dragged on they become more and more involved in aiding the Americans on the European front. Both Kate and Ben had an agenda: Kate was looking for her husband who went missing in action and Ben his wife who mysteriously disappeared. The story picks up and becomes far more interesting and evolves into a memorable war story as Kate and Ben are pinned down in Europe’s battlefields…..they find themselves way over their heads and must survive at all cost… 

The story is narrated in the first person by a senior Ben to his children in a rambling style that is quite entertaining at times. He relives and shares with them the many tales he collected in his travels during his younger and more challenging years. The prose successfully creates a vivid image of the time and especially the complexities of the Irish culture with great depth and skill. The novel started off in a tedious manner but I persisted and I am glad I did. The strong writing, the warm characters and the unexpected turn of events gradually hyped my interest to the end.

Looking back, I can honestly say I enjoyed this haunting tale

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