3 out of 4 stars
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The world is filled with struggles between classes, nations, races, etc. The people of Ireland were not exempted from these struggles. They faced tyranny from the British, and this resulted in a great marginalisation of Irish Catholics. They were placed in an unimaginable situation where life was uneasy for them. In Ellie of Derrywalk Hill, Maria Kelley took the reader back to the twentieth century, a time of strife between the Irish Catholics and the Protestants. Bridget had fallen in love with an Irish Protestant named Andrew; that was an unlikely situation at the time. The book told the fairytale love story between them. Their love story had betrayal, heartbreak, and pain in it. However, joy came with the birth of Ellie. With great concern for Ellie's well-being, Bridget migrated to America with Ellie without Andrew's knowledge. This development brought a lot of pain to Andrew's family. Living in America as an Irish came with a lot of discomfort and challenges. Was Bridget prepared to face these challenges with her new baby? Find out from this book.
From a positive point of view, the book was interesting to read because it took the reader back in time. It had me reminiscing on the history surrounding the vicious and scathy twentieth-century condition of the Irish people. It will give any history lover a nostalgic feeling. It is a commendable historical fiction book for everyone who wants to have a feeling of what it is like to live in the twentieth century as an Irish Catholic. I love that it also gave the reader an idea of the hard choices mothers could make under immense pressure. What could possibly be more painful to a mother than to leave her daughter behind? Would it have been better to stay in a place where they would be impoverished? While reading the book, I also understood that there were valid dates for the events in the book; this showed proper documentation of history.
On the negative side, the book had a poor presentation of characters. Though it has a historical sense, it couldn't draw up a proper description and presentation of characters. Again, apart from the historical part of the story, there was no suspense created by the author to serve as a motivating factor for the reader to keep reading.
The book was exceptionally well edited. I didn't notice spelling or grammatical errors in it. However, I rate the book 3 out of 4 stars. It got up to that number of stars because it is educational. It kept the reader informed on the history of the Irish people. It also had some moral lessons for mothers. I removed a star because of the poor character presentation I noticed in the book.
I recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction. Learning about the history of the Irish people and also reading about the love affair of Bridget and Andrew will interest them. Readers interested in reading about family drama will also enjoy this one.
Ellie of Derrywalk Hill
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