Recent Posts



  • PublishedMarch 9, 2023

The Oaks Bed & Breakfast

Irish Gold

By Andrew M. Greeley

Forge Books

512 pages, $12.98 Amazon

5 Stars

Since it’s March and the best holiday falls into March, St. Patrick’s Day, I thought to read a book set in Ireland. Irish Gold checks all the boxes, or a great Irish novel. Written by a Catholic Priest, as the reader you can feel the history and culture come alive in his writing. Dermot Michael Coyne, has found himself in Ireland researching his families history after the death of his grandparents. Both grandparents immigrated from Ireland to Chicago in 1922 towards the end of the Troubles. They had stated at one point that they were unable to return to Ireland, otherwise they would be shot. He wanted to discover more about their past and why they felt they could never return to Ireland. One day he happened into a pub where Nuala Anne McGrail, happened to be studying and singing and immediately found himself wrapped up in her Irish charm.

They immediately hit it off and slowly develop a working and sometimes kissing relationship. Dermot finds that she can read, write and speak Irish, so he has her translate his grandmother’s diaries so that he can discover the truth of what happened all those many years ago. With Nuala’s help they uncover the mysteries of the past and how those mysteries are affecting the present.

Greeley takes his readers on a ride through history, recounting the Troubles and the political struggle the Irish people went through while trying for independence. Through his imagination he creates scenarios for the past that greatly affected how the Troubles went on and the people involved. While much of the history in the book is accurate to the truth, he does take liberties in those who were involved and weaves a tale of deception and adventure for his cast of characters. While not overtly Catholic, the themes in the book touch here and there reminds the readers that part of the Irish issues started with religion. The book is written with a dual perspective, mostly from Dermot’s and then the diary entries take the reader into the past. Occasionally, Nuala will have a few pages to share her thoughts and feelings on the diary entries.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even the second time around. Made even more special since we had traveled to Ireland last year and so I was marginally familiar with some of the locations in the story. It definitely made me want to return and explore the country again. To dig into the past a little more and discover more of the history of the country. The characters are engaging and interesting. The mixture of the two together makes a great combination of opposites and equals that keeps the reader hooked. The two main characters banter back and forth throughout the story, as the reader you are along for the ride. In between reading new books I think I will toss in a few rereads of the remainder of the series. Dermot and Nuala will continue their mystery solving and develop their relationship in future novels, the series is a total of twelve books.

Contributed by Allison Libby-Thesing

Watch here:

Written By
Taylor Nye

Taylor Nye is the editor of Front Porch News. She has degrees from the University of Wisconsin in human biology, Latin American studies, and public health. She has previously worked at the Wisconsin State Journal, Tucson Weekly and Sulphur Springs News-Telegram. As a sixth generation Hopkins County resident, she loves celebrating our heritage and history.