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Friday, March 29, 2019

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Kristin

I just read it last week. Such an excellent book. I appreciated how Keefe managed to make almost everyone sympathetic and didn't demonize people. My daughter is reading it now, and has plenty of thoughts about Thatcher and Adams that I look forward to discussing when she has finished. I can't decide if Adams is a sociopath or just a consummate politician. Dolours and others seemed to suffer so much physically and emotionally, and he still coyly or adamantly (depending on his mood or the occasion it seems) denies involvement, despite what seems to be indisputable evidence. How can he do that? I guess he really subscribes to Say Nothing.

Barbara H.

What a great review of what sounds like a fascinating book. I doubt I will read it but you have really given us a lesson in Irish history. I love that your sister also read it and found it well worth reading.

Linda from Each Little World

So glad to hear from someone who's read it and you seem to have had pretty much the same response I did. I got the impression that Adams never actually killed anyone himself though it seems clear he ordered a lot of death and destruction, which is no doubt how he can compartmentalize his IRA past with his present.

All I could think about was how glad I was that my family left at the time of the famine as life in Ireland when I was growing up sounded pretty much like the 19th century. Can you imagine Jean McConville with 10 kids and no hot water and an outhouse. Yikes. But the stories of what happened to McConville's children were so awful. I was amazed as well at the descriptions of the vicious remarks adult Protestants made to little Catholic kids. I am sure that it is exactly what African Americans deal with here all the time.

I found it really interesting how Dolorous Price screwed up her body with the hunger strike. I never thought about the aftermath of such an action. I remember the death of Bobby Sands but was totally shocked to realize that a whole group had died that I never heard about. There is a movie that just came out about Dolorous Price with some of that video where she talks about her actions, along with an actress re-enacting things. You can watch pieces on youtube but I did not want to actually listen to her.

It's nice that your daughter is reading the book because it is one that you definitely want to talk about with someone after you've finished it.

Linda from Each Little World

My sister and I often read the same thing at the same time but don't often realize it at the moment it's happening. We live halfway across the country from each other and often used to show up wearing the same shoes or dress!

Peter/Outlaw

Sounds like an engrossing read about an awful chapter in human history. How interesting that you and your sister often read or wear the same thing.

Linda from Each Little World

I am a big reader, ever since I was a kid. I got into doing book reviews when I was at the newspaper and like to share anything that I think others might find valuable. But you are right about that being a troubled time and it is a troubling book as well.

Kris P

Wow. I don't generally gravitate to books on depressing historical events like this (feeling it's difficult enough to immerse myself in current day history-in-process) but you make a compelling case for making this an exception.

Linda from Each Little World

I am paying attention to local politics/news but for national news I am mostly looking at headlines and reading only as much as I need to in order to know what's going on. I refuse to listen to the President's voice and we gave up on TV news years ago. Now we hardly listen to anything but BBC and public radio and even that is fairly limited. Much easier to read this stuff. And I am limiting myself since I can't do anything and I don't intend to let the GOP give me an actual heart attack.

All of that is another way of saying it's easier reading about past history where there is context and it is easier to understand why things happened the way they did.

Dee Nash

Wow, what a book! I remember the Price sisters and their hunger strike very well. Our families are Irish and German Americans. We are their descendants. Of course, they came in the late 1700s and 1800s. I always followed the news of the Troubles as a teen, but I don't think I ever really understood it. We were too far removed. I do remember being appalled at them force feeding the prisoners on hunger strike. It scared me, the whole thing, the long hunger strike, and the feeding.

We are all so cruel to each other no matter what side we choose. I find it overwhelming. Thank you for your review of the book. I don't know if I could read it. ~~Dee

Tracy

I read Keefe's article in the New Yorker and it stuck with me. Thanks for letting me know about the book, I just ordered it.

I read a lot of blogs and yours is my favorite. I think you could write a great book on the creation and life of your garden. The writing and photography would be excellent.

Linda from Each Little World

Thanks for those kind words about the blog. If you read the New Yorker article then I think you will appreciate the book. He just had an oped in the NYTimes about how Brexit may affect Northern Ireland and the peace accords.

I am thinking I might do a self-published book. My husband has done some books on Blurb and others can purchase them if they wish, so that is what I might do. These days most books on cooking, gardening, design etc. all are being written by folks who have national reputations. So it is hard to break into that market. Once upon a time I might have been more interested, but these days i think if i get around to anything it will just be a book for me and friends.

Linda from Each Little World

Thanks for your comments on the book. It was not an easy read but I am glad I did it. My Dad's family was from Ireland and my Mom's from the French/German border, so I have only become interested in the family backgrounds as I have gotten older. There was never much discussion on my Dad's side about anything Irish and I wish I had asked questions when I had the chance.

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