- File Size: 4170 KB
- Print Length: 300 pages
- Publisher: David Lawlor (January 3, 2014)
- Publication Date: January 3, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00BFD4JF8
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,372,933 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Tan - A Story of Exile, Betrayal and Revenge (A Liam Mannion Story Book 1) Kindle Edition
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If you are a reader of historical fiction who requires accuracy, suspense, and flawed, yet heroic main characters, then I suggest you read Tan - A Story of Exile, Betrayal and Revenge by David Lawlor.
Set in England and then Ireland in the year after the end of World War I, Tan explores war from a closer view immediately following Liam Mannion's release from the English Army in 1919. Here's a guy forced to leave Ireland at a young age because of an act he witnessed after a night of drinking at a friend’s wedding. It’s here where the conflict of the story begins when the evil Webber blames and accuses the young Liam of an indecent act against a virtuous married woman. Webber’s fiction that forces Liam into exile begins a whole series of events that mark Liam for life.
Liam heads to England in 1914 and ends up in the English army fighting in France during the majority of World War I.
When Liam eventually heads back to England after the horrid and putrid rot of dead bodies that made up his memory of the war, he ends up in an insufferable situation which leads him to homelessness, and then worse, as an officer of the crown as a member of the powerful and often repressive Black and Tan. Liam turns a blind eye to the atrocious behavior of his English comrades, only until it becomes evident that his loyalty to the Black and Tan extracts too high of a rent for clean clothes and warm bowl of soup.
Lawlor captures the uncertainty of the times through the examination of Liam's uncertain future as he's thrust into situations beyond his control. Precise and graphic descriptions of life in England and Ireland post-World War I show that despite the end of a tragic war on the mainland of Europe, Ireland faced an even greater war at home with the invasion and intrusion of the Tans.
I fell in love with Lawlor’s descriptions of the setting in Tan as I lost myself in the world of the Irish fighting for their lives and their homeland. Here’s an example of Lawlor’s powerful descriptive talent:
“They leaned against the viaduct’s promenade rail, looking out on their hometown, watching the slow huff of a steam engine as it trundled into the station, the smell of the sea mingling with the coke from Cumisky’s coal yard beneath them.”
It’s filled with contrast and detail that employ the senses to show the reader that the situation and the setting are both beautiful and polluted.
Tan is both tender and violent as the reader is drawn into the abyss of angry revenge and the love and loyalty of friends and family. It also shows that being born into a family does not guarantee such loyalty. The character of the individual breeds the kind of loyalty that would take a bullet and shoot a bullet to protect and exact revenge.
I highly recommend Tan if you like to lose yourself into another world in the past of one hundred years ago on the soil of Ireland, bloodied from wars and stained with tears.
The first Black and Tan soldiers arrived in Ireland in March 1920. They accepted the job offered because they were unemployed and unskilled (except to fight in a war). So the main reason was pure and simple; money. They severely lacked discipline and found pleasure in terrorizing local communities during Ireland's War of Independence.
The story of exile:
The year is 1914; the place is Balbriggan, Ireland. A young man named Liam Mannion is accused of rape. He is beaten just shy of death by the ruthless RIC District Inspector Webber. In order to save his life, Liam's father helps him escape and he ends up in England. He enlists and fights in the war for five hellish years. Today we call it PTSD; in 1919 Liam deals silently with the memories of trench warfare.
Liam needs to find work, so he takes a job in a cotton mill in Manchester. Not only is the job hell physically, mostly because of the five years spent at war ruining his lungs, but the Brits don't like the Irish, so the prejudices were hell to put up with on a daily basis.
Since poor Liam could hardly breathe working in the mill, he quit. With no job and no food, he once again enlists, this time in the "Black and Tans." Ironically, he is assigned a post in Balbriggan, Ireland, his home town which he fled in 1914.
The story of betrayal:
Liam is now a Black and Tan, and his hometown friends fight for the republican cause and his own brother for the British Armed Forces. Again, poor Liam has to deal with fighting on the unscrupulous Tan side while he wrestles with his feelings of loyalty to friends and family.
The story of revenge:
Remember the beating he took from Inspector Webber? Well, you must read Tan - A story of exile, betrayal and revenge, to experience the essence of revenge.
David Lawlor's descriptions of violent combat battles are exceptionally compelling. However, he didn't lose sight of the fact his book was a historical fiction. Lawlor brilliantly introduces the family; Liam's brother Eoin, who is jealous of Liam, and his father, Dan, who he loves and respects.
Other characters including friends and women are perfectly woven into the story. It's a beautifully written novel in which to entertain and learn about this period of Irish history.