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Walk the Blue Fields: Stories Paperback – June 28, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
The consistent theme weaving through these stories is that of a past that haunts the characters and is their ball and chain into the present and future. The stories revolve around familiar Irish subjects: shamed priests, writers, quirky women condemned as whores, and bored and destitute farmers.
The "Night of the Quicken Trees" combines most of these subjects and is the most compelling story in the book. It takes place on a wind swept plot of land overlooking the Cliffs of Moher, the last bit of Ireland until the Arran Islands. Steeped in mysticism, this tale involves Margaret's humorous and semi-tragic race against time to have a child to replace the baby she lost from crib death. Her decision to leave her home with her child and seek a safe haven from life's threats in the Arran Islands is the most spiritual and redemptive moment in the collection of stories.
"Irish Gothic" is how I would best describe the short stories. If Flannery O'Connor were still alive and visited modern Ireland, I think her reflections would be similar.
Ms. Keegan writes with an extraordinary and enchanting beauty and I felt transported and wishing for a return to Ireland and the feelings of attachment to my great grandparents. I also felt more connected to my own inner world and am grateful to this author for that, also. There was also a dramatic ending to the stories, a halt that has stayed with me and returns to me.
Lines as "But however she changed her behaviour, she could do nothing about her nature" from my favorite story "Night of the Quicken Trees" made me smile at the universality of such a truth; I see it in my counseling profession.
The stories in Walk The Blue Fields are not all light and that is what I liked about them, too. Real life is oftentimes a harsh mixture of light and dark. I also know my many writer friends will enjoy the richness of these short stories and I will give them a copy.
I'm so grateful that my son introduced me to Ms. Keegan and gave me her lovely book this very Christmas teaching me once more that this mother can learn from her grown child.
She is a magical storyteller who takes you down to the deepest and darkest places of her characters' hearts. Her stories will stay with you. Not only because they are of incredible beauty, but because her words will make you feel the pain and the joy of those she chooses to show you. There is, for instance, the priest, who picks up a bride's pearls after the string breaks. She once was his secret lover and he tells himself that "if she blinked, he would take her hand and take her away from this place. It's what she once wanted but two people hardly ever want the same thing at any given point in life." There is also "the girl, whose father has never given her so much as a tender word, [she] embraces the retriever and with it the possibility that Deegan loves her, after all."
Keegan's stories are about the longing for love we all carry around with us all of our lives. It's an old topic, but a topic told to us in new and heart-wrenching ways.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this for my boyfriend for Christmas... And he read it. In silence. Never said a thing, other than to tell me the first story was very disturbing (I won't spoil it for... Read morePublished on April 8, 2014 by Michelle M
The book was filled with well written short stories. The writer engages you and you really feel caught up in the character's sad lives. Read morePublished on December 4, 2013 by Vicki Mahoney
Loved all of the stories, though the first ("The Parting Gift") was a favorite: a simple story of a girl leaving home, it is an unsentimental yet wrenching read. Read morePublished on April 1, 2012 by Ellen A. Hayes
Purchased as a gift, which really hit the mark. Ordering was easy and delivery was fast arriving prior to birthday. Would use this seller again. Read morePublished on January 29, 2012 by Las Vegas Priest