Official Review: An Irish Lullaby by Louis Michael Manzo

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SABRADLEY
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Official Review: An Irish Lullaby by Louis Michael Manzo

Post by SABRADLEY » 07 Apr 2018, 22:39

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "An Irish Lullaby" by Louis Michael Manzo.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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An Irish Lullaby by Louis Michael Manzo is a fiction novel that explores the concepts of faith, forgiveness, and personal growth. Although the narrative is presented in third-person omniscient, we primarily follow Father Sean O’Connor, an elderly priest at St. Aloysius Parish in Jersey City, NJ. Nearing the end of his long tenure in the priesthood, Father O’Connor finds himself looking to rekindle his glory days when he felt more needed and more significant in the world.

The book opens with a teenage girl undergoing a late-term abortion at a family planning clinic. Aubrey Fitzgibbon, President of the Board at the clinic, has become a personal support system to the girl and agrees to be present for the procedure. Aubrey’s career, along with her role in the teen's abortion, contravenes Catholic canon law. The plot thickens as Aubrey-a parishioner of St. Aloysius, with important connections to the church-has an unwanted pregnancy of her own to deal with.

Initially, I was unsure about the author's choice for the narrative’s point-of-view but soon discovered its efficiency in unveiling the thoughts and feelings of the characters as they interact with one another. The reader is allowed to nestle into the mind’s eye of the supporting characters which alleviates the need for excessive dialogue. The author does a fantastic job of developing the characters, especially the protagonist, Father O'Connor, who is a very believable miscellany of traits. A truly quirky combination of mischievous and old-fashioned, Father O'Connor’s endearing mannerisms captured my heart at the onset and never let go. The author also has an aptitude for drawing emotion out of the reader; I found myself laughing out loud at times and shedding tears at other times. This book is a story of hope, faith, love, deception, forgiveness, and pain. It is real-life.

I noted a handful of minor grammatical discrepancies, which did nothing to detract from my reading experience. The only area for improvement I can think to offer is to decrease the number of lulls in the story. There are stretches of pages where nothing of interest is happening, which creates a temporary disengagement from the story. These were the times I also felt the author’s writing became slightly more perfunctory.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with this book. I enjoyed the writing, the premise, and the character development. If half stars were an option, I would rate this book 3.5 stars because I feel there is a little room for improvement in certain respects, but I feel confident in providing a rating of 4 out of 4 stars.

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An Irish Lullaby
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stacie k
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Post by stacie k » 09 Apr 2018, 01:04

I’m not thrilled at the abortion content, but the real-life themes that you mention are appealing. The third-person omniscient point of view is not utilized very often and would be interesting to engage with. I appreciate your insightful review!
“The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable.” Proverbs 15:2a

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Post by SABRADLEY » 09 Apr 2018, 05:39

stacie k wrote:
09 Apr 2018, 01:04
I’m not thrilled at the abortion content, but the real-life themes that you mention are appealing. The third-person omniscient point of view is not utilized very often and would be interesting to engage with. I appreciate your insightful review!
Hi,
Yes, the abortion content was difficult for me as well. The opening scene is graphic to those types of sensitivities, but fortunately, it is the only scene that might carry a content "warning".
Thank you for commenting! :)

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Post by kandscreeley » 09 Apr 2018, 08:50

Due to the sensitivity of the opening scene, I doubt I'll pick this up. But, I did enjoy reading your review, and I like the themes presented in this one. But, when I'm reading a book like this, I'm more looking for a "light" read. It doesn't sound like this is it.
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Post by SABRADLEY » 09 Apr 2018, 12:58

kandscreeley wrote:
09 Apr 2018, 08:50
Due to the sensitivity of the opening scene, I doubt I'll pick this up. But, I did enjoy reading your review, and I like the themes presented in this one. But, when I'm reading a book like this, I'm more looking for a "light" read. It doesn't sound like this is it.
Hi,
Yep, I totally understand what you mean and I think your assessment is spot on. Thanks for reading my review and for the compliment :)

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Post by Mercy Bolo » 10 Apr 2018, 02:42

It appeals to me because anyone could be faced with such a dilemma. The very things that we ruefully detest and openly condemn could come to stare us in the face.
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Post by SABRADLEY » 10 Apr 2018, 04:34

Mercy Bolo wrote:
10 Apr 2018, 02:42
It appeals to me because anyone could be faced with such a dilemma. The very things that we ruefully detest and openly condemn could come to stare us in the face.
Hi,
Thank you for reading and commenting! :)

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Post by Libs_Books » 11 Apr 2018, 04:38

Thank you for this review - the book sounds really interesting and one that I might consider reading at some point. I appreciated your analysis of the author's narrative method.

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Post by SABRADLEY » 11 Apr 2018, 11:21

Libs_Books wrote:
11 Apr 2018, 04:38
Thank you for this review - the book sounds really interesting and one that I might consider reading at some point. I appreciated your analysis of the author's narrative method.
Hi,
It's nice to hear from you again. I appreciate the feedback...thanks for reading.

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