5 out of 5 stars
Share This Review
Hungry Trails is a book in the historical fiction genre by Maire Malone. This book had themes of enslavement, death, hardship, and determination, among others. The book revolved around the life of Julie and her family. The beginning parts of the book were set in Ireland during the time of the blight. The narrative was told from Julie's point of view.
Julie Foley and her father, Brian; mother, Eileen; and brothers, Dermot and Cian, suffered a lot owing to the hardship caused by the blight that destroyed their farms. During this time, the family lost one member named Maoliosa. Additionally, because they weren't able to pay their rent when it was due, their house was demolished. Luckily, they were taken in by their friends, Peader and Sarah. After some time, Peader bought tickets for the Foley family to migrate to America for a better life. In America, the family experienced a positive change in their lives as they got jobs that made them able to pay their bills and also have enough food to eat. However, Eileen's health took a downward path, and Julie was the one to look after her as the other members of the family weren't disposed to do so. Her desire to be trained as a teacher had to be put on hold because her responsibilities at home doubled. She predicted this would soon change, but did it?
At some point in people's lives when they are at their lowest, one of the most important things that will keep them going is their doggedness and determination to weather the storm of difficulty. From the lives of Julie and especially her parents, readers would learn some lessons. When surviving became tough, they didn't resolve to let themselves drown in the sea of despair; instead, they built up their courage to stand strong till the very end. Reading their story, tearful emotions were evoked in me.
Although Julie had a tight schedule, she was still genuinely dedicated to her churchgoing. This explicitly shows the certainty that if you care so much about something, you'll surely find a way to create time for it. Peader and Sarah's kindness toward Julie's family is alluring. This shows the essence of having friends who would come to your aid in a time of need.
I was attracted by the book cover. The images in it are stunning and pleasing to the eyes. I liked that the chapters each had a timeline attached to them. This feature enlightened readers on the period during which the events occurred. While reading, I discovered the author had excellent descriptive prowess. I could form a mental picture of the events he expertly depicted. The foreign dialect used by some characters added more vigor to the storyline. I liked the poems incorporated into the book. This is because it made the narrative more enchanting and drew readers in. The storyline was engaging, and I looked forward to how the family would escape their impoverished state. I found the recipe on how to bake certain cakes highly enlightening, and I appreciate the author for this. I wouldn't forget to mention that I liked the sprinkle of humor present in the narrative. It made the book more enthralling.
The only thing that I disliked was that the author didn't let the relationship between Julie and Fionn culminate into a union. I was eager and looked forward to seeing them as a couple, but that wasn't to be. Nonetheless, I loved how genuine and special their love was.
I'll rate Hungry Trails five out of five stars because it was an excellent book and I didn't note anything that would have prompted me to deduct a star. The book was professionally edited.
I recommend this book to readers who are aficionados of historical fiction narratives. Readers would gain the courage to face their fears for a better future after reading this magnificent piece of art.
View: on Bookshelves