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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Lagan Love by Peter Murphy

Title: Lagan Love
Author: Peter Murphy
ISBN: 978-1-193655812-4
Publisher: Fiction Studio Books
Format: Trade Paper back
Rating: 4 Crowns

If you know something about passion, and desire, and giving everything to live your dreams then leave your world behind for a while. Come with Janice to Dublin, in the mid nineteen-eighties when a better future beckoned and the past was restless, whispering in the shadows for the Old Ways.

Janice has grown tired of her sheltered existence in Toronto and when Aidan leads her through the veils of the Celtic Twilight, she doesn’t hesitate. In their love, Aidan, Dublin’s rising poet, sees a chance for redemption and Janice sees a chance for recognition.

Sinead tells her that it is all nonsense as she keeps her head down and her eyes fixed on her own prize – a place in Ireland’s prospering future. She used to go out with Aidan, before he met Janice, so there is little she can say. And besides, she has enough to do as her parents are torn apart by the rumours of church scandals.

But after a few nights in Grogan’s, where Dublin’s bohemians gather, or a day in Clonmacnoise among the ruins of Celtic Crosses, it won’t matter as the ghosts of Aidan’s mythologies take form and prey on the friends until everything is at risk. Lagan Love is a sensuous story of Love, Lust and Loss that will bring into question the cost we pay for our dreams.
(from Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

Peter Murphy spins a story of Irish lore and love in his debut novel, Lagan Love. Taking you into the heart of Ireland and into the mythos associated with the region as well as an unstable political climate Lagan Love makes for an interesting read.

While the characters were brilliant to read, the plot could be viewed as a slow start by some. And while the plot never gains a steady pace, it is the characters and lore that is the heartbeat of the novel. I have to say that I love novels set against tumultuous backdrops, and while it is not necessary to have extensive knowledge of the political climate of Ireland during the 1900’s, although if you want the novel to take hold I do recommend you know a bit of the history of Ireland.

On a side-note: “Lagan Love” was inspired by the 15th Century traditional Irish song that was found in Donegal, Ireland called, “My Lagan Love”. When the song was wrote it was done so during a time when it was forbidden to write or speak openly about their love for their country. Thus, “My Lagan Love” is a poetic song to a beloved woman, although truly it is their love from Ireland. It was believed to be translated from the original Gaelic by Joseph Campbell.

The Lagan is a rive that runs through Belfast.


Cat said...

Thanks for the review - this sounds like a book I'd love and definitely one for the TBR list.

Carol L. said...

Thank you for the review. I definitely will be reading this book. I love Irish lore and stories of any kind.
Carol L.