Sunday, July 21, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. For this meme, bloggers post what they finished last week, what they're currently reading, and what they plan to start this week.
My comments are not meant to be recaps of the story lines as I include a link to Goodreads for their synopsis of the book. I am merely stating how I felt about the book without giving any spoilers.
My 2013 reading list can be found here.

I am being sporadic in my postings as I am in my reading as well. I am keeping track of my reading however.



In 1845 a black American slave lands in Ireland to champion ideas of democracy and freedom, only to find a famine unfurling at his feet. In 1919, two brave young airmen emerge from the carnage of World War One to pilot the very first transatlantic flight from Newfoundland to the west of Ireland. And in 1998 an American senator criss-crosses the ocean in search of a lasting Irish peace. Bearing witness to these history-making moments of Frederick Douglass, John Alcock and "Teddy" Brown, and George Mitchell, and braiding the story together into one epic tale, are four generations of women from a matriarchal clan, beginning with Irish housemaid Lily Duggan. In this story of dark and light, men and women, history and past, fiction and fact, National Book Award-winning novelist Colum McCann delivers a tour de force that is his most spectacular achievement to date.

I wasn't disappointed as such, I really enjoyed it, but it just seemed to end suddenly.
Generations of a family shouldn't be covered so quickly, I wanted to savour the histories.  There were parts of the stories that I found hard to put together, and then towards the end it felt rushed to tie it all in.

The City of Shadows
It’s 1934 and the shadow of the war of independence and civil war still hangs over Ireland, their politics and factions infusing everyday life along with the rising power of the Church.  On the continent, fascism is a growing force, particularly in Germany as the Nazi party consolidates its grip on government, terrorizes Jewish citizens and threatens other nations.  When Stefan Gillespie, a detective sergeant in Dublin, stakes out a German back street abortionist, he little realizes he’s about to stumble into a tangled conspiracy of blackmail and murder that stretches from Dublin to Danzig.  On entering the clinic Gillespie encounters Hannah Rosen, a strong willed Jewess who has returned to Dublin from Palestine to investigate the disappearance of her best friend.  Very quickly Special Branch grabs the abortionist case from Gillespie and he swaps his attention to discovering what happened to Hannah’s friend, who’d been having an affair with a priest.  As he starts to investigate it’s clear that others want him to drop the case and they’re prepared to use coercion if necessary.  Gillespie is already vulnerable, a Protestant and single father to Tom in a country that favours neither status, but he’s also resilient and doesn’t react well to threats.  Meanwhile, Hannah has followed the trail to the priest to Danzig, a free city under political siege by Nazis keen to reintegrate it into Germany.

This book appealed to me on so many levels, my love of all things Irish, Nazi history, Catholic Church, women's issues and crimes and mystery.
I had absolutely no idea of the involvement of the Nazis in Dublin in the 1930s. My parents never mentioned anything about this.
This is an utterly compelling story full of twists and turns.


  1. I am impressed with your dedication.

  2. Both look like good books to check out! Thanks for sharing as I sm always on the lookout for a great book

  3. Both books sound intriguing. Come see what I did last week here. Happy reading this week!

  4. The City of Shadows looks so tempting...thanks for sharing. Have a great week.


  5. I couldn't get into Transatlantic. Maybe I should have given it a few more pages???

    ENJOY your week.

    Silver's Reviews
    My It's Monday, What Are You Reading


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