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An Irishwoman's Tale [Kindle Edition]

Patti Lacy
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Far away from her Irish home, Mary Freeman begins to adapt to life in Midwest America, but family turmoil and her own haunting memories threaten to ruin her future. It takes a crisis in her daughter's life -- and the encouragement of Sally, a plucky Southern transplant -- to propel Mary back to the rocky cliffs of her home in County Clare, Ireland.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Patti Lacy graduated from Baylor University in 1977 with a B.S. in education. She taught at Heartland Community College in Normal, Illinois, until she retired in 2006 to pursue writing full time. She has two grown children with her husband, Alan, and lives in Illinois. Visit Patti's website at

Product Details

  • File Size: 2473 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Kregel Publications (July 8, 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #470,887 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Story With Take-Away Value July 23, 2008
There is something quite fascinating about Ireland. I've read some historical stories about this grand country. So I eagerly began to read this Irish woman's tale of trying to find herself. Who is she, this woman named Mary Elizabeth? Why did her real mother send her away, why was her adoptive mother cold towards her.

I was spell bound as I read through 300 plus pages until Mary Elizabeth, her friend Sally, and I found closure. And Mary Elizabeth learned that God was with her, all those years.

I especially like to read about relationships between parents and children. Patti Lacy's writing held me spell bound throughout the story. I highly recommend An Irishwoman's Tale.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars What, exactly, is the story here? February 28, 2013
By jenpnc
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
We meet Mary as she is fixing breakfast for her family. The cozy scene is described in rich detail, all the way down to the yogurt with granola and the purple flowers. But it turns out that Mary, with her nice home, sweet husband, and loving daughters, has issues. Huge issues, most of them stemming from an angry, senile old woman who lives with her, who may or may not be Mary's mother. From there, the book follows Mary's story and is supposed to unravel the mystery of her life as a little girl in Ireland who was given away at age 5 to a couple in America, and the ensuing trauma she endures as a result of this catastrophic change.
The book does a fairly good job with the chronological timeline, but I was frequently irritated with the wordiness on trivialities and the lack of detail in the parts that really mattered. For instance, when she met her husband to be and suddenly realized she loved him, they talked and " hours later, they shut the restaurant down." Much more was said about the weather on Mary's walk to the restaurant than about the conversation that established her relationship with her husband. There were several parts like that.
After some years of marriage, Mary meets Sally, and they become friends. Sally endures Mary's rudeness, her mood swings, her anger. And Mary confides in her. The story unfolds as Mary opens up to Sally, and the mystery of Mary's younger life comes to light. Included in this enlightenment was her conversion, but the cliched Christian phrases just came across as trite and pat, almost as if the author knew they needed to be included.
I wanted to find reasons to like the book, but it just never took off. I felt bogged down by Mary's incessant negativity and after a while, sadly, I stopped caring.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Engaging Read August 9, 2008
I'm not usually one to pick up a women's fiction novel, but this one grabbed my attention from the first page and held it to the last. The story of Mary's struggle to accept herself and her past, her search for true friendship and understanding, and her battle against her own inner demons make it impossible to put the book down. The Irish setting is really vibrant and beautiful, and the characters will stick with you even after you've closed the book.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning Debut Novel! September 1, 2008
In this stunning debut novel, we meet Mary Freeman, a nurturing woman who wants to take care of her family and have a bit of peace in her life. But caring for her ailing mother is wearing on her, as is her concern for her youngest daughter. When Mary prays for a friend, she never expects God to answer so quickly... or with such a unique woman.

An Irishwoman's Tale is two stories in one: the tragic heartbreak of young girl who endures one rejection after the other, and a beautiful, healing friendship between two very different women. Like the threads that make up fine Irish linen, Lacy weaves Mary's story, combining the past with the present, until both converge and take Mary back to where it all started.

Lacy's lyrical writing style is perfect for this tale which takes us from Ireland to America and back again. Get ready to settle in with this one, because once you start, you're not going to want to put it down.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Story August 7, 2008
Patti Lacy has demonstrated what a wonderful storyteller she is in An Irishwoman's Tale. I spent two days completely absorbed in Patti's masterful and poetic descriptions of both geographic locations and character emotions. It wasn't light reading, yet it was never depressing either. Although this is a fictionalized account of a true story,Mary Elizabeth O'Brian's journey from a dysfunctional childhood to finding authentic inner peace as an adult is not an uncommon story for many women. The story offers hope to those who have walked in shoes similar to Mary's and are still searching for that peace. If you belong to a book group, I highly recommend this for your next selection. Patti includes some great discussion questions at the end.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Storytelling at its best August 6, 2008
Be prepared with plenty of reading time before you pick up An Irishwoman's Tale and open it to the first page. Patti Lacy has a character you will immediately grow to love, Mary, the Irishwoman. Lacy takes you step by step through this woman's struggle to understand and come to terms with her past from growing up in the Chicago area to her roots in Ireland. An excellent read--the kind of quality writing that makes you want more. And, as Dennis Hensley says on the backcover, "Solid storytelling."
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Tale of Forgiveness August 5, 2008
By WyoGrl
I loved, loved this book. The fact that An Irishwoman's Tale is based on a true story and told so well as fiction makes the story that much more compelling. Lacy did a wonderful job weaving the true story she knows so well into this fictional tale and its message of redemption is one readers won't soon forget. It will live on in your head for weeks to come, whispering the truths of forgiveness and grace.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A difficult read about a woman trying to reconcile her past...
This book was INTENSE. It kind of felt like I was a fly on the wall in a therapist's office when she's with a seriously traumatized client. Wow. What hasn't Mary been through? Read more
Published 1 month ago by jenmcdan13
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
I found it to be very depressing and a slow read for me.
Published 1 month ago by Kathy Lou
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good Story nicely told.
Published 2 months ago by Helen Willow
5.0 out of 5 stars When we ask, why.
A story that grips your heart and reminds us that God will use all things for good. My heart ached for Mary and both her mother's.
Published 2 months ago by Jerri Emrick
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by crhoads
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
I thought it was great but wasn't what I was expecting.
Published 4 months ago by david w. guthrie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great read!
Published 4 months ago by Linda Halstead
1.0 out of 5 stars I really wanted to like this book but I have to give it two ...
I really wanted to like this book but I have to give it two thumbs down. First of all the author portrays Lisle as the armpit of America. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Sue J
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story!
Very well written story. Intricate tale based on someone's true life story. The root of dysfunction, rejection, heartache, depression, substance abuse, and more, all comes to... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Harmony Stone
5.0 out of 5 stars Could be used as a Christian Counseling resource
Seeing the discussion questions at the end of the book makes me want to start a group with some dear woman who are struggling with similar issues.
Published 4 months ago by LaVerne Ombadykow
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More About the Author

In 2005, Patti traded in her grade books for a writer's pen to tell the long-buried story of her best friend. "An Irishwoman's Tale," "What the Bayou Saw," and "The Rhythm of Secrets" explore the secrets women keep and why they keep them. Patti's fourth book, "Reclaiming Lily," from Bethany House, transports readers to a Chinese orphanage, where two cultures and two women collide. Claiming influences as diverse as Francine Rivers and Jodi Piccoult, Patti weaves stories of grace that have in their fiber real-life incidents.

Currently Patti's juggling three projects: a friend's memoir, an 1860s historical romance, and a series set in Patti's home town, Normal, Illinois. Patti soothes her itch to teach by leading seminars, facilitating writing classes, and speaking at women's events. Patti and her husband Alan, a college professor, have two grown children and a dog named Laura.

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