Thursday, March 5, 2015

Review: No Country by Kalyan Ray

“A novel as easy to read as the latest bestseller, No Country is a rousing adventure made up out of the blood and guts and dreams of people on three continents and nearly 150 years of troubled history” (Alan Cheuse, NPR).

In the poverty of rural Ireland in 1843, Padraig Aherne and Brendan McCarthaigh grew up as brothers, inseparable, even when Padraig falls in love with their beautiful classmate, Brigid. But when Padraig makes a dangerous mistake that forces him onto a ship bound for India, and the deadly potato famine sweeps through their tiny village, Brendan is left alone to care for his best friend’s child, an infant daughter Padraig never knew he had. Eventually, Brendan flees with her aboard one of the infamous “coffin ships,” to begin a new life in America. As Brendan’s and Padraig’s two family trees take root on opposite sides of the world, their tendrils begin to intertwine, moving inexorably toward a disastrous convergence more than a century later.

Unfurling against the fickle backdrop of history that includes terrorism on the Indian subcontinent, an East European pogrom, the Triangle Shirtwaist fire in New York City, and the terrible intimacy of a murder in a sleepy New England town, the fallout from lives torn apart in No Country smolders for generations.

Received for review.

This book is well written and very well done, but it's just downright boring.  Seriously boring.  So boring you need three espressos to make it through a single chapter.  Part of the problem was that I just didn't care about the characters.  There was never any real connection with any of them which may have been due to the fact that the book changed the point of view so often. 

From a historical point of view this was an interesting look a a long, turbulent period told through the view of people experiencing the events as they happened.

Overall, as a story it's interesting but doesn't make for compelling reading.  If you really, really enjoy historical fiction then this may be for you but be prepared for massive amounts of caffeine intake.

★★☆☆☆ = Just Okay

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