Saturday, 13 December 2008

101. Frank Delaney - Ireland

This isn't the book I thought it was. Fortunately, by the time I'd worked that out I was well and truly hooked and read happily right through to the end.

Delaney is telling two ... or three, or four? ... stories in this book. First is the story of Ireland from prehistoric times right up to the 1960s. Then there's the story of the young boy we meet in the opening pages. Ronan is only nine when a Storyteller visits his family home. He is spellbound by the old gentleman and his tales and devotes a great piece of his life to finding him again. To say more about the plot would be to tell secrets so I shall leave it there.

Delaney's writing is engaging and knowledgeable. The characters are painted in broad brushstrokes and there are so many stories within the stories he tells that it might have all become a shade too complicated. Thankfully, Delaney is skillful enough to pull it off and I never had that nasty feeling of being all at sea. Highly recommended.

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