Tipperary

Tipperary

eBook - 2007
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"My wooing began in passion, was defined by violence and circumscribed by land; all these elements molded my soul." So writes Charles O'Brien, the unforgettable hero of bestselling author Frank Delaney's extraordinary new novel–a sweeping epic of obsession, profound devotion, and compelling history involving a turbulent era that would shape modern Ireland. Born into a respected Irish-Anglo family in 1860, Charles loves his native land and its long-suffering but irrepressible people. As a healer, he travels the countryside dispensing traditional cures while soaking up stories and legends of bygone times–and witnessing the painful, often violent birth of land-reform measures destined to lead to Irish independence.At the age of forty, summoned to Paris to treat his dying countryman–the infamous Oscar Wilde–Charles experiences the fateful moment of his life. In a chance encounter with a beautiful and determined young Englishwoman, eighteen-year-old April Burke, he is instantly and passionately smitten–but callously rejected. Vowing to improve himself, Charles returns to Ireland, where he undertakes the preservation of the great and abandoned estate of Tipperary, in whose shadow he has lived his whole life–and which, he discovers, may belong to April and her father. As Charles pursues his obsession, he writes the "History" of his own life and country. While doing so, he meets the great figures of the day, including Charles Parnell, William Butler Yeats, and George Bernard Shaw. And he also falls victim to less well-known characters–who prove far more dangerous. Tipperary also features a second "historian:" a present-day commentator, a retired and obscure history teacher who suddenly discovers that he has much at stake in the telling of Charles's story.In this gloriously absorbing and utterly satisfying novel, a man's passion for the woman he loves is twinned with his country's emergence as a nation. With storytelling as sweeping and dramatic as the land itself, myth, fact, and fiction are all woven together with the power of the great nineteenth-century novelists. Tipperary once again proves Frank Delaney's unrivaled mastery at bringing Irish history to life. Praise for Frank Delaney's TIPPERARY:"[T]he narrative moves swiftly and surely...A sort of Irish Gone With the Wind, marked by sly humor, historical awareness and plenty of staying power." — Kirkus Reviews"[A]nother meticulously researched journey...Delaney's careful scholarship and compelling storytelling bring it uniquely alive. Highly recommended." — Library Journal (starred)"Sophisticated and creative." — Booklist"Delaney's confident storytelling and quirky characterizations enrich a fascinating and complex period of Irish history." — Publishers Weekly"Read just a few sentences of Frank Delaney's writing and you'll see why National Public Radio called him 'the world's most eloquent man.'" — Kirkus Reviews, "Big Book Guide 2007"From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: 2007
ISBN: 9781588366573
Branch Call Number: OverDrive ebook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc

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r
ryner
Jul 07, 2008

Tipperary tells the life of Charles O'Brien, an Irishman, traveling healer, proponent of Irish independence and man of some passion. His story is told by the 21st-century narrator who finds some of Charles' personal effects in an old trunk donated to a library and, curious, begins to research his life.

From with his childhood on an Irish farm and apprenticeship to a local herbalist, we follow Charles to France where he attends Oscar Wilde at his sickbed and also falls in love, and back to Ireland where his life's crowning achievement is overseeing the restoration of an ancient Irish castle fallen into disrepair and ruin. Meanwhile, the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War are transpiring in the background and, on occasion, in the foreground as well.

I found this an enjoyable read, with just a one small quibble. Having the narrator, who punctuates episodes from Charles' life with additional historical information of interest to the reader as well as an account of how his research is progressing, is a bit confusing and somewhat jarring initially. Just as the reader is becoming engaged with one storyline, the perspective changes and one must guess who's speaking. Otherwise, this period in the history of Ireland is fascinating and was almost entirely new to me, having very little idea of Irish history prior to independence. The parallels to slavery in America ? Irish Catholics were forbidden to write and could be deported for owning books ? were a complete surprise. I would definitely read more of Delaney's works.

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