Fenian's Trace is the tale of two lads raised as brothers in the west of Ireland during the early 1900s. Though they choose different paths when the rebellion comes, they both take a fancy to the spirited and alluring Maria upon her homecoming from America. It's a story told by Mr. Clancy, a gruff old Limerick publican who fancies himself as yet another in that grand tradition of Irish storytellers, though one who refuses to let his gentle inebriation or any distractful facts trouble his telling. It's a story of secrets and sacrifice, fathers and sons, love and loyalty. It's an Irish story.
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Heartbreaking and beautiful
- Kelly Kenrick
Moving historical fiction set in 1900's Ireland!
Fenian's Trace is an outstanding well written historical fiction story by Sean P. Mahoney. Through its pages we learn of one small village's struggles with the British occupation of Ireland leading up to the Easter Rebellion and ultimately Ireland's independence in 1921.
The story begins in 1901 Limerick with two young brothers who desire to do nothing more than hitch a ride on a canal boat carting barrels of Guinness. As the years roll by, they eventually succeed in riding on that boat and along the way they meet some very interesting men who enjoy telling stories of Irish heroes and legends. As teens, their interests start to veer in different directions and they fall in love with the same girl. Eventually they choose different paths dealing with the rebellion.One passionately acts out against the English occupation (like all of the great legends before him), and the other takes the path of a pacifist, all the while remaining loyal and true to his family and the other villagers. It goes without saying that sacrifices are made which are utterly heartbreaking. [The last 1/3 of the book is truly moving and brought me to tears more than once.]
I listened to the audible version of Finian's Trace narrated by Liam Carney, who is a well known and resepected actor. His warm husky voice and gravely tones were ideal to portray a gruff old Limerick pub owner who enjoys the grand tradition of Irish storytellers. I enjoyed it so much, I hope someone from Hollywood reads it and makes a movie out of it, like they did with Frank McCourt's Angela Ashes in 1999. In summary, I higjly recommend this book!