3 out of 4 stars
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Ireland is a country with a rich history and a fierce pride. The beautiful scenery and folklore make it a popular tourist destination but like everywhere else, there are dark moments that some locals would prefer to keep hidden. House of Eire by June Gilliam follows a disgraced writer of Irish descent and her family on a trip of a lifetime to Ireland. Hillary Broome, her husband Ed, daughter Claire, and motherly figure Sarah, live a quiet life in the San Joaquin Valley of California. Hillary’s desire to find answers to some family secrets encourages her to pack up her family and visit a close friend, Bridget. What awaits Hillary in Ireland is mystery and the unfortunate truth that some people would prefer to let some history remain buried.
This story is a slow burn. The first half of this novel, which is relatively short at 264 pages, is mostly setting the stage for the twists and turns to come. The second half is packed with mystery, murder, and some Irish history. One of the things I liked the most about this book is that while the story is fiction, the historical references were not.
This novel is the third in the series but can be a standalone. I did not read the other two books and did not feel it detracted from my experience. The language was clean for the most part with only a few profanities. There are no instances of graphic violence or erotic scenes. There is mention of cannibalism during the Great Famine although it is not graphic, and the references serve a greater purpose in the story. I found the book to be professionally edited with only one minor error.
There was only one thing that I did not like about this book. While the first half of the book built the story and characters, I felt the second half was rushed. A lot of adventure and mystery takes place in the second half and I felt that the ending did not deliver. The twist at the end did not feel authentic to the characters and left me with questions.
I would recommend this book to lovers of adventure or mystery. I find it suitable for anyone although I would caution readers about the cannibalism references and there is some anti-British sentiment. I give this book three out of four stars. My disappointment in the ending is why I removed a star but its possible some lingering questions were answered in the book that came after it.
House of Eire
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