One evening in 1951, an itinerant storyteller arrives unannounced and mysterious at a house in the Irish countryside. By the November fireside he begins to tell the story of this extraordinary land. One of his listeners, a nine-year-old boy, grows so entranced by the storytelling that, when the old man leaves, he devotes his life to finding him again. It is a search that uncovers both passions and mysteries, in his own life as well as the old man's, and their solving become the thrilling climax to this tale. But the life of this boy is more than just his story: it is also the telling of a people, the narrative of a nation, the history of Ireland in all its drama, intrigue and heroism.
'Ireland' travels through the centuries by way of story after story, from the savage grip of the Ice Age to the green and troubled land of tourist brochures and news headlines. Along the way, we meet foolish kings and innocent monks, god-heroes and great works of art, shrewd Norman raiders and envoys from Rome, leaders, poets and lovers. Each illuminates the magic of Ireland, the power of England and the eternal connection to the land.
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If only all history books were written by Frank Delaney. He adopts the discipline of meticulous research and historical fact in his latest novel, Ireland, but he has the ability to hook the reader into the dialogue and so enables one to visualise events that took place centuries ago . . . the writing flows effortlessly. It's a big book and a big slice of Ireland to enjoy. Take time to step into the pages and become involved with the people ( IRISH NEWS)
One of the most engaging, enjoyable reads I have come across all year . . . Delaney's triumph is to engage us simultaneously in the general and the particular. The historical, folkloric, mythical sense of Ireland, though always lively in its telling, is ( SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY)
Full of drama, passion, intrigue and heroism, it's a fascinating portrait of a beguiling country ( CHOICE)
[Delaney] is a natural-born storyteller . . . You can see why Irish people have embraced this novel ( IRISH WORLD)
Bestselling author Frank Delaney sweeps us off to Ireland with a stunning new novel that captures the eternal magnetism of the island and its tumultuous history. A breathtaking story of an extraordinary land which unfolds through pre-history to modern times.
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