3 out of 4 stars
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Hillary and her husband, Ed, never got to take the honeymoon to Ireland that they wanted. Now, nearly ten years later, they will finally get a chance as Hillary takes a break from her writing, and her husband needs to travel to a conference for work in Ireland. The couple will also bring along their daughter, Claire, and their good friend, Sarah, who lives on their property. Hillary has some family on her father’s side that migrated from Ireland. Her mother’s side is less clear, as her mom abandoned her at the age of ten. Therefore, Hillary will use her time in Ireland to learn a little about her heritage. She also looks forward to meeting a family friend, Bridget, who lives in Ireland.
Bridget is trying to help preserve some of the history of Ireland, and share it with tourists as they come to visit the country. Bridget wants to create a memorial remembering those who suffered from the Great Famine. She feels a new amusement park being built will be the perfect place for it. Therefore, tourists visiting Ireland can be exposed to some of the history of Ireland that they may not seek to find out themselves. The developer, Dermot Connolly, feels differently, and he isn’t afraid to use his resources to persuade Bridget to change her mind. Seamus, being one of these resources, finds himself in a complicated situation. While the love Seamus has for Bridget grows, he must also balance that with the danger he is putting both their lives in if he doesn’t change Bridget’s mind.
June Gillam puts together a novel that is full of adventures and surprises. I thought the first half of the book was a little slow, but the second half kept me engaged and guessing through the end. I think this book could inspire anyone to visit Ireland. The author did a great job detailing the places Hillary and her family visited. She also did a great job sharing the history of Ireland. I wasn’t familiar with the Great Famine so it was interesting to learn about the tragic event while reading the House of Erie. I loved Gillam’s description of the bed and breakfasts that Hillary and her family stayed at. They met some interesting people this way, some of them helping them when tragedy struck.
One of my least favorite things about this book was the character of Seamus. I thought some of his behavior was odd. Examples would be when he is hitting on Hillary and how he acted at the end of the book while at Yeats tower. I know this will be an unpopular opinion, but I also didn’t like some of Claire’s behavior. I did not find it funny when she got her hair stuck while on the airplane. I think this is because, being a mother myself, I felt more anxiety about the situation, as Hillary did. I also didn’t like it when Claire shrieked on the playground just to scare her mom in chapter 12. This behavior is probably normal for a child that age, but I found it disrespectful towards her mom. Also, I wish the book would have spent more time on the relationship between Hillary and her mom.
I rate House of Erie a 3 out of 4. I enjoyed learning about Ireland and some of the characters, while other characters had behavior I thought was a little odd. The book seems professionally edited as I only found two errors. I would recommend this book to those who want to travel to Ireland or learn more about it. I would also recommend this book to those who like mystery or suspense novels. Finally, I would also recommend this book to other mothers. The book spends some time examining the relationship between Hillary and her daughter and how that is impacted due to the history with Hillary’s mother.
House of Eire
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