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1972: A Novel of Ireland's Unfinished Revolution (Irish Century Novels)
The Irish Century series is the story of the Irish people's epic struggle for independence through the tumultuous course of the 20th century. Morgan Llywelyn's magisterial multi-novel chronicle of that story began with 1916, which was followed by 1921 and 1949. It now continues with 1972, which covers the events and social changes of the mid-century in Ireland through the story of the coming-of-age of Barry Halloran, son of Ursula Halloran (the heroine of 1949). Barry moves from patriotic involvement in the IRA, to an aversion to explosives and guns and a career as a photographer, to a final moment of radicalization in the face of the horrifying injustices in Northern Ireland that crystalized on Bloody Sunday in Derry in 1972.
A chronicle of life in Ireland between 1950 and 1972, through Barry's journey the novel gives a clear understanding of social changes, pressure points, and vivid moments of historical importance. Clear parallels are drawn to the American civil rights movements of the 1960s, which in part motivated the patriotic and oppressed Irish Catholics. At the same time, there is the continuation of the family saga that links all the volumes of this series, and a passionate romance for Barry. Morgan Llywelyn is at her storytelling best in 1972.
By Scott W. Carroll
- October 7, 2005
I have just finished reading the Irish century series up to date within the past few months, and 1972 is just another link in a fine chain on novels by Llywelyn. From the first book (1916) with a young Ned Halloran all they way up to Ned's grandson Barry in her latest masterpiece 1972, Llywelyn tells the story of the Republican movement from the Easter rising to Bloody Sunday. It's amazing how in 1972, she is able to approach all angles of the Troubles in Ireland. From the facture of IRA and the emergence of Ian Paisley and the Provos Llywelyn takes the confusion out and shows the futility of Irish politics. These books have brought to light a heritage that I have never been aware of and that has escaped my family over the generations. I would recomend this book to everyone with an ounce of Irish blood or anyone interested in the troubled history of modern Ireland. I can't wait for her next installment in the Irish Century series.
Read It and Weep
By Leah R. Schofield
- March 15, 2005
An excellent book in many respects. I witheld the fifth star only because there is so much straight history that some readers might get restive. A good read and a interesting and informative look inside the IRA and a sad retelling of the British atrocities that are rarely made public. Looking forward to her next book which will complete her retelling of Eire's struggles for independence and reunification.
Absolutely wonderful series
By Anne B. Burgamy
- November 1, 2005
I've read all four books in this series and counting down the days for the next one. They are all so good, it's almost impossible to lay the books down until you finish. She has done an awesome job in her research of historical facts which make them that much more enjoyable. "1949" in particular is a good history refresher course for things we have forgotten since our high school world history classes. Hurry and get the next one ready to be purchased!!
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