Book Review

Review: Flight of the Earls by Michael K. Reynolds

For whatever reason, Irish history has always enchanted me. Maybe it is the few drops of Irish blood that courses in my veins, but from the music, culture, lilting accents, or stunning vistas, I can’t help but yearn for the day when I can visit the country. 

For now, escaping into books are the way for me to get a glimpse into this culture that fascinates me. Flight of the Earls starts in a tragic time in Ireland’s history–the potato famine. But this novel uses that moment to build a story about hope.

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**I received a free copy of this book from B&H Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review**

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.

“Most days blended into the grayness of Liam Hanley’s life, but this particular one haunted, a brooding prophetess tormenting the potato farmer with visions of his precious dream succumbing to the Irish downpour of misfortune, washing out his aspirations in familiar brown rivulets of defeat.”

From the first pages of this novel, I was hooked. Michael K. Reynolds has a way with words that capture the heartaches and joys in this novel. But even beyond an exquisite word choice, the tale that is woven throughout the threads of this story is one for the soul.

Clare and Seamus leave Ireland under some of the worst circumstances. Their goal is to find jobs in America to allow them to send money back to the rest of their family in Ireland. What they didn’t expect was for the harsh life that would greet them in the Five Points region of America. Even when things seem to be looking up, they learn that things are often not as good as they appear.

The transformations in the characters makes this novel compelling. Within the stories of these siblings, a message of truth is evident: God will always meet us where we are at. This was a wonderful book that captures a darker time of America’s immigration history. It is the first book of this series, and I’m eagerly waiting for an opportunity to read the second book.

I would love to hear from you! Have you read any novels involving immigration that you really enjoyed?

For more on the author or this book, please check out the following links:

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