Friday, April 9, 2021

Review: Flight of the Earls by Michael K. Reynolds

My rating: 5 stars / It was amazing


It’s 1846 in Ireland. When her family’s small farm is struck by famine, Clare Hanley and her younger brother, Seamus, set out across the ocean to the Promised Land of America.

Five years prior, Clare’s older sister Margaret and her Uncle Tomas emigrated in similar fashion and were not to be heard from again. But Clare must face her fears as she lands in the coming-of-age city of New York. There she discovers love, adventure, tragedy, and a terrible secret which threatens to destroy her family and all she believes.

Flight of the Earls is the first book in a historical novel trilogy based on Irish immigration in the 1840s.

My Review

I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around the journey I was just on as I finished this book. Such rich and nuanced storytelling with the amazingly unbelievable yet true details from a century ago. I was drawn into the plight of the Hanley family with the proud father and children struggling at the onset of the Potato Famine. Clare's adventure with her brother and neighbor is beset with misfortune and yet there are those along the way who assist them and show the goodness of humanity. Their time in New York reminded me a bit of the movie Far and Away, and it was easy to envision the infamous Five Points area rampant with corruption and destitution. Clare's dedication to her family stays strong even through the ups and downs, the revelations that leave her reeling, and the winding path that brings her in contact with a wide variety of characters that each leave their mark on the reader. The book is both epic and sweeping, without losing the feeling of intimacy and connection with the main characters of Clare and Seamus. I began the book with curiosity but grew enthralled and felt immediately transported each time I picked it up. It's light on romance until the last quarter of the book but I thought it fit in well, although I wouldn't have minded more scenes with the relationship development. It wraps up nicely with the conclusion while still leaving a thread open for the continuing series. Highly recommend to fans of historical fiction! 

Disclosure statement: A complimentary copy of this book was provided from a tour group, publisher, publicist, or author, including NetGalley, OR was borrowed from the library, including OverDrive, OR borrowed from Kindle Unlimited, OR purchased. A review was not required and all views and opinions expressed are unbiased and my own.

Check out the next books in the Heirs of Ireland trilogy. . .

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