2 out of 4 stars
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House of Eire by June Gillam is a travel story on the surface but has elements of murder-mystery and the supernatural. This story is about Hillary Bloome, who is a ghostwriter. When Hillary was 10 years old, her mother left home and never came back. This disturbed Hillary as a child and she still has nightmares about it. She embarks on a much-needed vacation with her husband, Ed, daughter, Claire, and family friend, Sarah, who is like a mother to Hillary and a grandmother to Claire. Hillary wants to learn about her Irish roots on her father's side of the family. So, she decides to visit Ireland where she also plans to meet her friend, Bridget. However, Bridget conflicts with an American builder, Dermot Connolly, who wants to build an amusement park in Ireland based on Irish history. Bridget wants him to build a memorial, to honor the sufferings of the Irish, inside the amusement park. This doesn't go down well with Connolly, which puts Bridget's life in danger.
I loved all the characters. The way the author shaped them makes them so real and someone we can easily relate to. Even those characters who didn't have a major role helped in giving an authentic feeling to the story. This proves how much effort the author had put in writing the characters. I found Seamus's character to be the most conflicted as he didn't want his closed ones to be harmed, but he was also left powerless in many situations. I could feel his agony and frustration at his helplessness, and that made me empathize with him.
The plot is where the story falters. The first half of the book deals with the characters, their interactions, and the places they visit. Although it was interesting, it didn't do much in moving the plot forward. Things started to get interesting after the first half and the plot picked up the pace which was maintained till the end. The climax felt a bit convoluted and I wasn't completely satisfied with the way the story ended.
I like a story that falls under a particular genre, and this story seemed like a jumble of drama, murder, and the supernatural. I think this is the reason why I wasn't able to invest myself completely in the story. If a single plotline had been the focus of the story, I would have enjoyed it more.
I give 2 out of 4 stars to this book. It was professionally edited and I found only a single error in the book. There aren't any graphic love-making scenes or depictions of violence, but I will recommend it for readers who are more than 13 years old. If you don't like a mix of different genres in a book, it is better that you skip this one. However, if you love travel stories mixed with murder and suspense, this would be the right choice for you.
House of Eire
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