Official Review: People of the Flow by Ben H. Gagnon

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.
Forum rules
Authors and publishers are not able to post replies in the review topics.
Post Reply
User avatar
Prisallen
Posts: 2368
Joined: 27 Feb 2019, 18:57
2019 Reading Goal: 104
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 69
Favorite Book: The Unbound Soul
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 83
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-prisallen.html
Latest Review: Stepping Stones to personal Healing by Robert N Koppen, MD

Official Review: People of the Flow by Ben H. Gagnon

Post by Prisallen » 01 Jan 2020, 20:43

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "People of the Flow" by Ben H. Gagnon.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


John Harrington was born in West Cork, Ireland, but he moved to Boston, Massachusetts, when he was young. John returned to Ireland when his father was dying with ALS but, unfortunately, didn’t make it back home early enough to spend time with him before he passed away.

While at the old homeplace, he went up into the attic to see if there was anything worth keeping. He discovered an ancient wooden box with letters inside and a lock of red hair. The letters were from his great-grandmother (Nessa) and great-grandfather (Rigby), written to each other in 1915. They revealed their adoration for one another and also disclosed a fascination with the prehistoric mound Bru na Boinne and its ancient mystical qualities. Their tale is one of love against the backdrop of World War I and the Easter Rising (Irish Rebellion) of 1916. This is while learning about and embracing the Celtic customs and beliefs.

After reading the letters, John feels a need to research more about his great-grandparents, who had seemingly disappeared. The search for information leads John on a path that will alter his life forever as he rediscovers his fondness for Ireland and his deep-seated roots.

People of the Flow by Ben H. Gagnon is a novel in the historical fiction genre but also containing both romance and mystery. The prose is eloquent and descriptive, with chapters written from John Harrington’s point of view, which then alternates with chapters detailing the story of Nessa and Rigby, written in the third person. An example of his writing skills is the sentence, “It’s a road that demands respect, curling around outcrops of granite and flirting with thousand-foot drops to the foam and chop of the Irish Sea.” With a mixture of historical people, such as Agnes O’Farrelly and the poet George Russell, and indelible characters, the writing is plausible and memorable. The concluding chapter of the book is entitled “The Flight of Souls: Vessels and Mechanisms” and details the Celtic beliefs about reincarnation and other customs. The author has clearly devoted a great deal of time researching information concerning Ireland to make the novel accurate.

Nessa and Rigby’s story took place during the time when Ireland was a colony of England and the Irish mythology, beliefs, and traditions had been replaced by Christianity and the English practices. However, Irish history was slowly being remembered and embraced by the people as they rebelled against the English ways. Nessa felt a drawing towards the ancient customs and beliefs and was unable to accept Christianity. Christians might find this offensive.

My favorite aspect of the book was believable and memorable characters. I experienced John’s sadness when he missed talking with his father one last time. I could also relate to the reemergence of his love for Ireland and the gradual change in his beliefs and priorities as the story unfolded. Additionally, the poignant love story between Nessa and Rigby was a favorite of mine.

Regrettably, I discovered too many flaws in the book, and this was my least favorite aspect. First, there were formatting issues. The lines in the first paragraph in each chapter were double-spaced, whereas the rest were single-spaced. In addition, the chapters did not always start on a new page. Occasional line breaks occurred in the story as well. Finally, too many punctuation and grammatical errors were found. It could use the help of a professional editor.

Because I dislike nothing else about the book, People of the Flow deserves a rating of 3 out of 4 stars with one star removed for the errors. Readers who enjoy books about Ireland and the Celtic beliefs, as well as romance and mystery novels, would appreciate this story. There is only borderline profanity. There are, however, some violence and sexual content, including descriptions of stone sculptures of nude couples in erotic positions. Therefore, it is unsuitable for young children.

******
People of the Flow
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon

User avatar
Rayasaurus
Posts: 265
Joined: 23 Dec 2018, 14:37
Currently Reading: Managing With Respect
Bookshelf Size: 37
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-rayasaurus.html
Latest Review: Advancing the Common Good by Philip Kotler

Post by Rayasaurus » 13 Jan 2020, 17:59

Despite the formatting issues, I think I’d love reading about the love story in this book especially. It sounds very sweet. Thank you for the review!

kdstrack
Posts: 4201
Joined: 10 May 2017, 19:49
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 125
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 106
Currently Reading: River Kids
Bookshelf Size: 321
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-kdstrack.html
Latest Review: A Portrait of Mommy by JL Coston

Post by kdstrack » 13 Jan 2020, 20:36

The author does a good job of mixing historical fiction with the emotional story of John's family. This sounds like a captivating read. You have engaging insights about the author's writing style.

User avatar
Tomah
Posts: 765
Joined: 05 Feb 2018, 02:21
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 90
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-tomah.html
Latest Review: Something Like the Truth by Tom Soter

Post by Tomah » 14 Jan 2020, 12:09

I hope the author polishes the editing since this novel sounds quite fascinating. I'm intrigued by family dramas and historical novel, so this hits the spot perfectly. Thanks for the review!

User avatar
Prisallen
Posts: 2368
Joined: 27 Feb 2019, 18:57
2019 Reading Goal: 104
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 69
Favorite Book: The Unbound Soul
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 83
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-prisallen.html
Latest Review: Stepping Stones to personal Healing by Robert N Koppen, MD

Post by Prisallen » 15 Jan 2020, 10:59

Rayasaurus wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 17:59
Despite the formatting issues, I think I’d love reading about the love story in this book especially. It sounds very sweet. Thank you for the review!
I think you would enjoy it. Thanks for the comments!

User avatar
Prisallen
Posts: 2368
Joined: 27 Feb 2019, 18:57
2019 Reading Goal: 104
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 69
Favorite Book: The Unbound Soul
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 83
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-prisallen.html
Latest Review: Stepping Stones to personal Healing by Robert N Koppen, MD

Post by Prisallen » 15 Jan 2020, 11:00

kdstrack wrote:
13 Jan 2020, 20:36
The author does a good job of mixing historical fiction with the emotional story of John's family. This sounds like a captivating read. You have engaging insights about the author's writing style.
He does, indeed, have a wonderful mix. Thank you so much for reading my review and commenting!

User avatar
Prisallen
Posts: 2368
Joined: 27 Feb 2019, 18:57
2019 Reading Goal: 104
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 69
Favorite Book: The Unbound Soul
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 83
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-prisallen.html
Latest Review: Stepping Stones to personal Healing by Robert N Koppen, MD

Post by Prisallen » 15 Jan 2020, 11:02

Tomah wrote:
14 Jan 2020, 12:09
I hope the author polishes the editing since this novel sounds quite fascinating. I'm intrigued by family dramas and historical novel, so this hits the spot perfectly. Thanks for the review!
I hope the editing is fixed as well as I loved the story. I hope you get a chance to read it. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Post Reply

Return to “Historical Fiction”