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Norah’s Children Paperback – November 30, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Inc. (November 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595406548
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595406548
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,626,659 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

An absorbing story ... sharply observed characters ... a rich portrait of rural Ireland in the '20s and '30s ... an engrossing, convincing family saga.
Kirkus Discoveries


Full of lilting phrases ... poignant scenes ... tear at the heartstrings. ... an explosive finale ... that stops readers cold. O'Farrell's ... stark testimony to a fearsome era and .... (a) searing tale of profound loss. Mary McWay Seaman, The Celtic Connection, Denver

Well told and beautifully written ... fascinating and powerfully emotional.
Frank West, Irish American News


As real as the blood flowing through my veins. Incredible.
Mary Jo Sullivan, Midwest Irish Focus


Poignant, heart-rending narrative ... an eloquent novel of immense sorrow.
Sharon Greer, The Celtic Connection
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

From the Author

This story has been waiting a long time to be told. Norah's Children is a novel which has, at its heart, a truth. There was a Norah, though I'm not sure that she even spelled her name that way. Norah did have five children, and five different families ultimately took in those children. What those families were like, or how those children were actually reared, I do not know. I heard whispers long ago and, like the fine silk of a spider's web, they clung to me. I finally gathered those fragile threads and wove them within a story of "how it might have been."
            If there are villains and victims in the story, it is because every story must have its villains and its victims. If there is a hero or a heroine it is because every story should have at least one. The characters, as they are depicted in my story, are conjured from my imagination. No offence or hurt to the memory of any real person is intended.
            The original children are all gone. I don't believe they spoke much about their separate lives. In writing this book I wanted to honor them, and the trauma and sadness they must have experienced. Children are our legacy, our joy, and our responsibility. They begin their lives totally trusting in, and dependant on, our integrity. Too often their trust is misplaced. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

More About the Author

Irish author Ann O'Farrell worked as a theater director, designer, and drama therapist in Dublin, Ireland, before she and her husband retired to Florida.
It was in Florida that she began her writing career. Her novel, Norah's Children, ultimately became the first book in an Irish historical trilogy set in Ireland and England in the early part of the last century. The series is based on a true story.
Ann's fourth novel, Kitty's Hive, set in 1950's Dublin, is now available in paperback, and as an e-book.
In addition to writing, Ann has become a popular speaker, giving talks on her books, but also on different aspects of Ireland. She speaks about its turbulent history, its incredibly diverse geography, its myths and legends, and its great legacy of gifted authors from Jonathan Swift to Frank McCourt, and from Oscar Wilde to Maeve Binchy. Ann especially enjoys a fun talk she gives titled "Twenty five things you didn't know about Saint Patrick and Ireland."
More about the author and her work, and to hear her read short excerpts from her books at: www.annofarrell.net

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 18 customer reviews
It will reallly tug at your heart strings.
Mary Ann Sullivan
It is well written and sensitive and the author presents the Irish experience with understanding and deep sympathy.
Mary T. Dresser
I read it quickly and look forward to her next book.
Chi

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By C. Sproule on December 21, 2006
Format: Paperback
What a wonderful story...so real to the time period. It was nice to read a book that actually held my interest. Why isn't this book on the best seller list? I can't wait for her next book...I will recommend this book to all my friends!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Yiayia Janet on September 24, 2009
Format: Paperback
Someone gave me this book and it sat on my to read shelf for quite awhile. Recently I picked it up and began to read. What a terrific discovery. Norah's Children is a wonderful, well written novel. Ann O'Farrell strikes a lovely balance between Maeve Binchy and Frank McCourt. You care deeply about her carefully drawn characters. I cannot wait to read the sequel. My only question is why is this book not better known? I told a friend about it and she went to the library and found that Norah's Children had to be ordered from a very far away library. We live in an area that has one of the finest library systems in the state of Illinois, yet there were no copies in our entire system. It boggles my mind that this great read is languishing. If you read it and love it get the word out. Ann O'Farrell deserves to me recognized.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nancy A. Korbel on May 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
My wonderful step-mother recommended this book to me. I read until 3AM one night because I couldn't put it down. (Tough going at work the next day!) I had to know the fate of each of the children. The book takes you to the past but it could be written today about the struggles of many children. Can't wait for Ms. O'Farrell's next book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Marykay Alpers on March 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
I had the honor of meeting Ms O'Farrell at a book signing and was not disppointed in her first book. I was not able to put it down until I read every last page!!!! Looking forward to more of her works. Would love to have this available on audio----and read by the author!!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on April 12, 2009
Format: Paperback
Why do families shatter into pieces? "Norah's Children" follows Mary Kelly as she comes into adulthood, raised by her aunt. Since her mother's tragic death when she was younger, her family has been fragmented; her siblings broke up, and her father abandoned her. Mary must ask many questions other than just "Why?" to get a truthful answer. "Norah's Children" is an inspirational story of an Irish family, and the will to stay together in spite of it all.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary Ann Sullivan on June 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is genuine. It will reallly tug at your heart strings. It is the first timein a long time that I had to put a book down as I was crying. Really refects how times were back in the depression
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. Haddad on January 21, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Background: The author is a resident of Tarpon Springs, Florida, and wrote this book while a member of the "Wordsmith" writing group after retiring in Florida from Ireland. Summary: In 1924 Ireland, when Norah Kelly unexpectedly dies, her family's peaceful, rural life is shattered. Her husband, Brendan, decides he must seek a new wife, and places their four youngest children with an elderly aunt. After his wedding, he refuses to take the children back, and will keep only the eldest. The aunt is left to resolve the children's plight and find new homes for them. The story of Norah's Children holds us in its spell until the final, moving chapter. Michael is the sequel to Norah's Children. Ms. O'Farrell unravels the mystery of the youngest of the orphaned Kelly children. Once again, the author looms a spell-binding tale, this time Michael's poignant coming-of-age story, exposing Irish and British rivalries of the 20th century, Hitler's rage in England, and affirming the thread of familial love. It is evident that the author's writing skills have been sharpened immensely.
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Format: Paperback
In 1922, Norah Kelly lived at Glendarrig in County Galway, Ireland, with her husband Brendan and her four children Pierce, age eight, Mary, age six, Colm, age four, and Sheelagh, age two. After having a stillborn child, she gives birth to a son, Michael. Two years later, she dies unexpectedly. Brendan sends the four younger siblings to live with Norah's Aunty Bridgie while he seeks a wife to care for the children. However, the morning after his wedding to an eighteen-year-old young woman, he changes his mind, keeping only Pierce and refusing to take the other children back without any explanation whatever. His plans are to send them to an orphanage, but Bridgie asks if she can find new homes for them.
Mary remains with her great-aunt, but the next year, with the help of Bridgie's brother Liam Clancy who lives and works in England, Colm is sent to live with the family of Liam's wealthy employer Edward Sinclair in London, and the two younger children are placed with the Porters, who are friends of the Sinclairs and live in Bristol, although Mr. Porter takes a dislike to Michael and farms him out to his unmarried sister Wyn. And both English families seek to remove all Irish influences from the three children's lives. The rest of the book covers the next thirteen years, including the death of Aunt Bridgie, Mary's marriage to Joe Daly, and finally Brendan's death in 1938. Will the five children be separated forever? And will they ever learn why their father abandoned them? The book is based on an actual event. Author Ann O'Farrell wrote, "This story has been waiting a long time to be told. Norah's Children is a novel which has, at its heart, a truth. There was a Norah, though I'm not sure that she even spelled her name that way.
Read more ›
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