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Hungry for Home: Leaving the Blaskets: A Journey from the Edge of Ireland Paperback – 1 Jul 2001

4.4 out of 5 stars
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4.4 out of 5 stars 16 reviews from Amazon.com

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Reissue edition (July 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141001941
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141001944
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.5 x 19.6 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,282,221 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Chronicles the events that led the inhabitants of the remote Blasket Islands off the coast of Ireland to abandon their ancient homes and medieval way of life in 1953. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 16 reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars An unecessary book 22 Dec. 2013
By Beth Quinn Barnard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Not long after the turn of the 20th century, a spate of books appeared that were written by Irish-speaking inhabitants of the Great Blasket Island, including Tomás Ó Criomhthain, Peig Sayers and Muiris Ó Súilleabháin, and describe the subsistence lifeway of the westernmost point in Ireland. In the late 1940s the dwindling population of the island was relocated following the death of a young man from meningitis while the single telephone and transport to the island were cut off by bad weather. Cole Moreton picks up the story at that point, describing that incident and the dispersion of Blasket inhabitants, including many who emigrated to Springfield, Massachusetts, and his own efforts in the 1990s to visit the island. I was disappointed by his account, which is largely anecdotal and lacking in the kind of details of the relocation that I'd hope to find, such as the financial arrangements of resettling the last Blasket families. Although Moreton interviewed many former Blasket inhabitants, they don't offer any special insights -- those who remained on the Dingle Peninsula continue to live in modest circumstances and those who moved to the U.S. live typical middle-class American lives. Moreton's recreation of their moves shows them to be unremarkable -- most caught an ocean liner in Cork, a far cry from the hardships endured by 19th century Irish emigrants. Moreton's description of his own attempts to visit the Great Blasket and his eventual success was also unremarkable. For those interested in the Blaskets, this is an unnecessary book.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Family History 29 May 2010
By Pat Garvey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Since my mother-in-law was a Kearney and born on the Great Blasket Island and after a visit to the island in 2007, this was a must read for me, my husband and our children. It is so interesting to read about what life was like and I am completely amazed at the zest for life of the people who lived their lives there. My only wish is that my husband's mother was still with us, I would have spent hours talking to her about life on the Island. The island was breathtakingly beautiful, but you only imagine how difficult life was there.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a rare glimpse of something beautiful 3 Aug. 2004
By Leonap - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Times change and people have to adapt or leave. This author takes the reader with him as he visits those who lived on the Blasket Islands at the westernmost point of Ireland before it was abandoned. Neither an Irishman nor an American, Mr. Moreton gets inside the heart of islanders as he tries to retrace the steps taken by those who left for America to find a better life and those who were left behind. The small villages of the Dingle Peninsula come to life through his narration and you feel you are there, listening to voices from a past that is harsh and cruel yet beautiful in its life struggles. This is a book to read both before and after a trip to Ireland, or if you have Irish ancestry and want to see inside a window to your family history.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting 22 Feb. 2014
By Dano Maxwell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Book discusses folks who lived in the Blaskets and who moved to America.
Hard life over there, not so easy life over here. Long Read. If you're Irish or interested in Irish history
this is as good as it gets. The Islands are now just tourist destinations.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 11 Sept. 2015
By Eileen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Purchased three copies of this impressive and touching book to give to Irish friends
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