Customer Reviews


194 Reviews
5 star:
 (142)
4 star:
 (32)
3 star:
 (11)
2 star:
 (6)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


127 of 131 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Galway Bay Is An Unforgettable Story
Not knowing much about Irish history, and only knowing that in the 19th century there was something called the potato famine, I looked forward to reading Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly. I learned an enormous amount about Irish history and the horrors of the potato famine.

Galway Bay is the story of the Kelly family starting in the "before times", that time...
Published on February 12, 2009 by R. A. Taylor

versus
21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Much too long
This book is interesting and I love the Ireland saga. It just was too long and at the end I felt like it became too much of a documentary towards the end and not enough of a story. My Grandfather came from Ireland and always told stories so anything to do with Irish heritage I love. One of the best books I have read was "Gracelin O'Malley" written by Ann Moore the...
Published on November 17, 2009 by L. Phipps


‹ Previous | 1 220 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

127 of 131 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Galway Bay Is An Unforgettable Story, February 12, 2009
This review is from: Galway Bay (Hardcover)
Not knowing much about Irish history, and only knowing that in the 19th century there was something called the potato famine, I looked forward to reading Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly. I learned an enormous amount about Irish history and the horrors of the potato famine.

Galway Bay is the story of the Kelly family starting in the "before times", that time before The Great Starvation. The inhumanity shown the Irish by the English, the landlords, and the agents, during the potato famine is incredible, treating the Irish as less than human. But the Kelly family vows to survive, and survive they do--on less food than many of us throw away in one day. As more and more Irish die of starvation, the English have great plans for taking over the land left idle and so begin evicting those who remain. With nowhere to go, the Kelly's make their way to America, first to New Orleans and then Chicago.

This is a marvelous sweeping family saga told with an ear to the Irish bent to storytelling. The story swept me in and held my attention with every page. Honora Kelly, the main character telling the story, was actually a real person, the great-great-grandmother of the author. She is perhaps the strongest woman I have ever read about, surviving unbelievable hardships all the while loving and raising her children and making her way in America. This is a woman I will long remember.

If I had one complaint, it would be that the story of their time in New Orleans and Chicago was not long enough. I wish the author had added another 100 or so pages and made this time longer. The description of the life and times of early Chicago was just fascinating and I would have loved to read more. But that is a small complaint compared to the grand scope of this story and the wonderful characters portrayed.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in Irish history or anyone with Irish ancestors. If I could award half stars, I would definitely give this book 4-1/2 stars.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The History of Early Ireland at its Best, February 18, 2009
This review is from: Galway Bay (Hardcover)
GALWAY BAY
Mary Pat Kelly
Grand Central Publishing
$26.99
ISBN: 978-0-446-57900-1
551 pages
Reviewer: Annie Slessman

Wow...wow..and wow again! Mary Pat Kelly's new novel, Galway Bay, is one of the best-written works of fiction I have read this year. Containing the history of the blight that killed so many crops and people in Ireland in the 1800s. Horror stories of people lying dead in their homes from starvation will stay with the reader for a long time.

The story's main character, Honora Keeley Kelly, born in 1822 marries at age 16 when Michael Kelly emerges from the sea and captivates her heart. Kelly is a wanderer, equestrian extraordinaire, blacksmith and soon to be, farmer that keeps his family close and learns to love the land. The story of Honora and Michael's family members brings a reader to tears and strengthens their own resolve to be stronger in the face of adversity.

When the blight ends, Michael and Honora finally have a wonderful crop to see them through the year without the threat of starvation. Their joy is short lived when the soldiers take their crops and threaten to take their lives.

Several heroes materialize in this story. Honora, Michael, Michael's rebellious brother, Patrick Kelly and Honora's sister, Maire. Patrick sparks the Irish rebellion and takes his fight to Amerikay (America) to build strong opposition to the current government and landowners (mostly English) in Ireland. Maire sacrifices herself when a landowner threatens to take Honora as his own. Maire has lost her husband to the sea and feels she is better equipped to handle the landowners demands than Honora.

The Kelly family's migration to Amerikay makes for some interesting reading as it includes a history of early Chicago and its demographic makeup.

The 551 pages of this work appear a bit intimidating. However, a reader will have no trouble getting through the work, as you will not be able to put it down until you have read the last word.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


36 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A BRILLIANT READ, February 4, 2009
This review is from: Galway Bay (Hardcover)
I highly recommend this book if you are looking for richly drawn characters and a compelling story.

Author Kelly relates the saga of her great, great grandmother, Honora Kelly. After losing her husband to the famine in Ireland, Honora journeys to America with her five children and settles in Chicago.

Kelly's descriptive writing captures what life in 19th century Ireland and Chicago must have been like.

For lovers of historical fiction and the telling of a good tale, "Galway Bay" is a must read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "One reaching back for the next", February 17, 2009
This review is from: Galway Bay (Hardcover)
In the romantic comedy, Jerry Mcguire Tom Cruise's character, walks into a room filled with women and makes a heartfelt plea to win back the love of his life, the character (Dorothy Boyd) played by Renee Zellweger.

The famous line "You complete me was followed by, "Shut up, Just shut up, you had me at hello"

Before I even began reading Galway Bay, the spectacularly written and meticulously researched epic novel, by Mary Pat Kelly, the words in the prologue grabbed me and pulled me in immediately.

"We starved. More than a million dead...most of them in the West, which was only a quarter of the country, with Ireland itself just half the size of Illinois. A small place to hold so much suffering. But we didn't all die. Two million of us escaped one reaching back for the next.

Surely one of the great rescues in human history. We saved ourselves, helped only by God and our own strong faith. Now look at us, doing well all over the world. We didn't die."

I would just like to say,
"Mary Pat Kelly, You had me
when I read the words

"one reaching back for the next"

My Dads Parents, Bill and May Durkin arrived in Chicago by boat to make a new life for themselves and time after time,again and again, they

"reached back for their brothers and sisters, and Aunts and Uncles.

Each one of them, at one time or another, lived with my Father and his family until they were able to find jobs and get themselves settled, and then...my grandparents would send for another.

I highly recommend this treasure of a book to everyone regardless of your nationality. We are all the descendants of courageous immigrants who arrived in our country.

As an Irish Catholic, living in Chicago, I could really relate to these well defined characters.

Naturally I was mesmerized from beginning to end.

Mary Pat Kelly gave me a glimpse into the history and personal struggles of my very own family and I want to thank her for writing this fabulous epic novel. Like every good story, once you start, you will not be able to put down until you finish and then ...you want more!

[...]

Chicago, Illinois
100% Irish
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


21 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Much too long, November 17, 2009
This review is from: Galway Bay (Hardcover)
This book is interesting and I love the Ireland saga. It just was too long and at the end I felt like it became too much of a documentary towards the end and not enough of a story. My Grandfather came from Ireland and always told stories so anything to do with Irish heritage I love. One of the best books I have read was "Gracelin O'Malley" written by Ann Moore the trilogy of books to me was far superior and much more real. I give Mrs. Kelly a lot of kudos' for writing and do so much research I just wish she would have made the novel; 100 pages less. She is a talented writer and for all of our ancestors we owe so much. I doubt many of us would have survived what the Kelly's did. It is still worth the read you just might get a little weary by the end.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I do not give this 5 stars lightly!, July 29, 2009
This review is from: Galway Bay (Hardcover)
I picked this book up at my local Irishfest because the author was there and you know what? I am so glad that I did. Mary Pat Kelly writes so beautifully and keeps my attention for the most part in a pretty hefty book. While the book does have a bit of sadness, its still pretty positive and wraps up in the end and ties up most loose ends. Much better than Angela Ashes since it really is about the good and bad of the Irish and their Immigration. The description of Chicago during the Civil War area was mezmorizing to me since very little is really written about Chicago during this time due to the Civil War being fought way further south. I wouldn't mind seeing this made in a movie, but something says it would not do it justice. I highly recommend it to everybody out there still wondering.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars truth in the telling, March 17, 2009
This review is from: Galway Bay (Hardcover)
Many of us with Irish grandmothers, like Mary Pat
Kelly's, learned young that our families left
Ireland unwillingly, but in desperate
circumstances. Galway Bay gives a scorchingly
honest look at the suffering the Irish endured
while the English landlords continued to export
food out of Irish harbors. One might read and
weep, except that the Kellys also had resilience,
and a beautiful new country, where they would write
a new story. This is history to celebrate, a very
good read and an important look at an oppression of
people - not unlike today's immigrant families, who
also go through so much, in order to try to find
survival for their families here. Instead of a
green beer or a Hallmark card on this feast of St
Patrick, give someone Irish that you love this
wonderful story of a family to read.
Those with a special interest in family history may
read this book as an Irish "Roots" -
the writer did not know all her story until putting
in much time over historical documents, microfilms,
computers and talking to family members.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Epic, rich and lyrical., March 15, 2009
By 
Holly (United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Galway Bay (Hardcover)
"Epic" is the first word I would use to describe Galway Bay. The words "rich" and "lyrical" would follow. Mary Pat Kelly fully captures the tragedy and triumph of the 19th century Irish emigration.

Michael and Honora Kelly, young newlyweds, begin their life together on a small patch of land overlooking Galway Bay. Michael is a bagpiper and blacksmith by trade. He's the owner of a prized racehorse and plans to breed her and sell the colts. Honora's family are hardworking fishermen and she and Michael plant potatoes to feed their family and pay the required rents to their English landlords.

The plight of the Irish is well-documented. The English, who came in and took over, tried to do all they could to force the proud Irish people from their lands. Their heartless cruelty comes through, and these strong people resist as long as they can. But, after blight kills the potatoes three times in four years, Michael and Honora finally realize they need to leave Ireland for America.

Danger and adventure await them in America as Honora, her sister Maire and their seven sons set forth to find Chicago and Michael's brother, Patrick. The strength of these two women is remarkable and inspiring. Based on the author's great-great-grandmother, Honora's story is one that will captivate you. The Irish people have a strong reputation for storytelling and Galway Bay is the fascinating story of a woman who wants to protect her family and her Irish heritage.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "We wouldn't die, and that annoyed them!" -Honora Keeley Kelly (1822-1899), March 2, 2009
By 
Dave Samber (Bridgeport, USA -formerly Chicago's Hardscrabble)) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Galway Bay (Hardcover)
It took author Mary Pat Kelly over a month to pen that powerful first sentence in her newest book, Galway Bay, just released nationwide on February 9th>>I was immediately hooked on this huge epic starring MPK's great-grandmother, Honora Keeley Kelly, from those initial words.

Maybe it's because I live in Bridgeport where Honora settled at the end of her journey from her homeland of Ireland and the new life she found here in 1848 that I felt so close to her. The shear misery under the British-induced starvation and economic despair, the Protestant hatred directed against the Catholics, like the Kellys, the heartbreak of loss and death, all behind her as she and her sister and their children struggle in their new homeland of Chicago.

MPK is, indeed, a mezmorizing story-teller. She develops the characters and the scenes with sufficient detail and expression as to put us right in the story feeling the love and the passion, the laughs and the the losses, persevering for the basics of providing for a family...nothing fancy, just a job and some crops.

With her grandson, Bridgeport's Edward J. Kelly, elected Chicago's mayor in 1933, Honora is truly Chicago's "Grandmother of Chicago Politics" and she's got MY vote and so does her great-great-granddaughter, Mary Pat Kelly!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wish it were a movie, September 27, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Galway Bay (Kindle Edition)
One of the most well written books I have read. I did not want it to end.It seemed as I were there with Honorah going through what she was experiencing. Great historical read!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 220 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Galway Bay
Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly (Paperback - February 28, 2011)
$15.99 $6.40
In stock on December 24, 2014
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.