Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly

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Synopsis

Here at last is one Irish family's epic journey, capturing the tragedy and triumph of the Irish-American experience. In a rousing tale that echoes the myths and legends of Ireland herself, young Honora Keeley and Michael Kelly wed and start a family, inhabiting a hidden Ireland where fishermen and tenant farmers find solace in their ancient faith, songs, stories, and communal celebrations. Selling both their catch--and their crops--to survive, these people subsist on the potato crop--their only staple food. But when blight destroys the potatoes three times in four years, a callous government and uncaring landlords turn a natural disaster into The Great Starvation that will kill one million. Honora and Michael vow their children will live. The family joins two million other Irish refugees in one of the greatest rescues in human history: the Irish Emigration to America. Danger and hardship await them there. Honora and her unconventional sister Maire watch their seven sons as they transform Chicago from a frontier town to the "City of the Century", fight the Civil War, and enlist in the cause of Ireland's freedom. The Kelly clan is victorious. This heroic story sheds brilliant light on the ancestors of today's 44 million Irish Americans.

In the author's colorful and eclectic life, she has written and directed award-winning documentaries on Irish subjects, as well as the dramatic feature Proud. She's been an associate producer on Good Morning America and Saturday Night Live, written books on Martin Scorsese, World War II, and Bosnia, and a novel based on her experiences as a former nun - Special Intentions. She is a frequent contributor to Irish America Magazine and has a PhD in English and Irish literature.
 

About Mary Pat Kelly

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Mary Patricia Kelly is the author of a novel Special Intentions, and nonfiction on subjects as varied as Martin Scorsese and the rescue of Scott O'Grady from Bosnia. In her life, she has been everything from a nun to a documentary filmmaker to a producer of short films for "Saturday Night Live". She lives in New York City.
 
Published January 22, 2009 by Grand Central Publishing. 586 pages
Genres: History, Travel, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Galway Bay

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Honora Keeley is swollen with pride, if nervous, to have been accepted to “the first convent allowed to open in Galway City since Cromwell.” She’s a sweet 17-year-old, not quite innocent enough not to know what’s happening when she first lays eyes on Michael Kelly—or rather, “the maleness of him—...

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Book Reporter

Mary Pat Kelly tells Honora's story -- which, it turns out, is the tale of the author’s family --- in great Irish tradition, with the flair of mythology and lyrical language.

Jan 22 2011 | Read Full Review of Galway Bay

Bookmarks Magazine



In the author's colorful and eclectic life, she has written and directed award-winning documentaries on Irish subjects, as well as the dramatic feature Proud. She's been an associate producer on Good Morning America and Saturday Night Live, written books on Mar...

May 17 2009 | Read Full Review of Galway Bay

Las Vegas Review Journal

Kelly bases much of the story on her own family history, and it’s as much a tribute to her kin as it is to all Irish immigrants.

Mar 17 2009 | Read Full Review of Galway Bay

Story Circle Book Reviews

©Copyright to the review is held by the writer (review posting date appears on the review page).

May 06 2009 | Read Full Review of Galway Bay

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