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The Matchmaker of Kenmare: A Novel of Ireland Paperback – 15 Mar 2012
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Praise for "The Matchmaker of Kenmare"
Delaney wrings the pulp out of a Jack Higgins-like premise and turns it into something more satisfyingly literary.
One of the best fictional wartime couples animates veteran Delaney's darkly wistful novel.
Delaney re-earns his reputation for total reader engagement with his latest deeply thought-out novel...As artillery guns fire overhead, hearts ache: a compelling combination.
"Delaney grabs the reader from the first paragraph with his comfortable and nostalgic style. His metaphors are so visual, readers can taste, smell and see the action." -Summer Moore, Associated Press
PRAISE FOR FRANK DELANEY
Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show
"Wonderful entertainment [that] encompasses Irish history and politics, a mystery, a quest, and a coming-of-age story . . . written with style and humor by a masterful storyteller."--"The Boston Globe"
"A moving tale of love, angst and Irish superstition."--Associated Press
"With its memorable characters and variety of adventures, [Frank] Delaney's brand of Irish fabulism is . . . a delight to read. ["The Matchmaker of Kenmare"] burnishes this veteran writer's reputation as a consummate storyteller."--"Kirkus Reviews" (starred review)
"Engrossing . . . Delaney again unspools a fine yarn, while providing substantive insights into history and human nature."--"The Star-Ledger"
"Panoramic . . . Delaney spins an exciting yarn of romance and intrigue, and in Kate, he has created an indomitable, unforgettable character."--"Publishers Weekly"
"Irish storytelling at its best.""--Library Journal"
A moving tale of love, angst and Irish superstition. Associated Press
With its memorable characters and variety of adventures, [Frank] Delaney s brand of Irish fabulism is . . . a delight to read. ["The Matchmaker of Kenmare"] burnishes this veteran writer s reputation as a consummate storyteller. "Kirkus Reviews" (starred review)
Engrossing . . . Delaney again unspools a fine yarn, while providing substantive insights into history and human nature. "The Star-Ledger"
Panoramic . . . Delaney spins an exciting yarn of romance and intrigue, and in Kate, he has created an indomitable, unforgettable character. "Publishers Weekly"
Irish storytelling at its best. " Library Journal""
"A moving tale of love, angst and Irish superstition."--Associated Press
"With its memorable characters and variety of adventures, [Frank] Delaney's brand of Irish fabulism is . . . a delight to read. [The Matchmaker of Kenmare] burnishes this veteran writer's reputation as a consummate storyteller."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Engrossing . . . Delaney again unspools a fine yarn, while providing substantive insights into history and human nature."--The Star-Ledger
"Panoramic . . . Delaney spins an exciting yarn of romance and intrigue, and in Kate, he has created an indomitable, unforgettable character."--Publishers Weekly
"Irish storytelling at its best."--Library Journal
About the Author
Frank Delaney is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Ireland, as well as The Last Storyteller, The Matchmaker of Kenmare, Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show, Tipperary, Shannon, and Simple Courage: A True Story of Peril on the Sea. A former judge for the Man Booker Prize, Delaney enjoyed a prominent career in BBC broadcasting before becoming a full-time writer. Delaney died in 2017.
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The story has a very slow start and opens with Ben meeting Kate Begley, known as the matchmaker of Kenmare. The two naively pride themselves of being neural during the start of the devastating war but as their relationship developed and the war dragged on they become more and more involved in aiding the Americans on the European front. Both Kate and Ben had an agenda: Kate was looking for her husband who went missing in action and Ben his wife who mysteriously disappeared. The story picks up and becomes far more interesting and evolves into a memorable war story as Kate and Ben are pinned down in Europe's battlefields.....they find themselves way over their heads and must survive at all cost...
The story is narrated in the first person by a senior Ben to his children in a rambling style that is quite entertaining at times. He relives and shares with them the many tales he collected in his travels during his younger and more challenging years. The prose successfully creates a vivid image of the time and especially the complexities of the Irish culture with great depth and skill. The novel started off in a tedious manner but I persisted and I am glad I did. The strong writing, the warm characters and the unexpected turn of events gradually hyped my interest to the end.
Looking back, I can honestly say I enjoyed this haunting tale.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The main story is rather dull. It's about a quasi-love triangle that does have some interesting and timeless elements. Unfortunately, the whole Pieper thread combined with the giraffe -- shades of Water For Elephants? -- was too jarring for me to enjoy the book.
Nevertheless, and with the thought that in trilogies the second installment is typically the weakest, I will soldier on -- sorry, I couldn't resist -- and take up The Last Storyteller.
Every author has a hiccup. This was Mr. Delaney's.
We meet various characters who are quite powerful in the early days of WWII and enable Kate and Ben to go where they will. Ireland is attempting to remain neutral, if that is ever possible. After some beautiful scenes where potential lovers are introduced to each other for marriage purposes, the tale turns more sinister. Kate and Ben abet the kidnapping of a spy who has information vital about Hitler and his plans for the war and world domination. Kate then falls in love with a military spy, Charles Miller, and they marry after making a secret agreement that is rather mysterious itself. Charles goes missing in war, is reported to be dead, and Kate refuses to believe he is gone.
Thus begins a journey through storms of rain, bullets, bombings, snow, massacres, and so much more that bring the brutal reality of the war to the reader in a breathtaking manner. The horror grows and Ben's thoughts about neutrality undergo traumatic changes. War is Hell, indeed!
This novel begins with a tepid, endearing start but quickly evolves into a blood-curdling, adventurous, and memorable war story. We keep waiting for Kate and Ben will move beyond friendship; they do but not in the way the reader is anticipating. Love and passion rule the day, with new interactions that are quite novel and remarkable. Frank Delaney is a gifted writer who has penned a beautiful, haunting tale that readers will relish and remember, for sure!
Ignore the fact that it is the first part of a trilogy and just enjoy. Some cannot disregard this and focus on the "unresolved" nature of the book but by definition the first in a trilogy is an introduction to character and conflict. Take it for what it is and I'm sure you'll be surprised. Oh and definitely buy from Central Valley Books, they have excellent prices and great service.