This is an excellent read and, I believe, can be read on two levels; firstly, as a romantic historical saga. It works really well in this way although I found it difficult to deal with Ellie's character as she seemed quite spoiled. On a deeper level, however, the novel looks at issues about materialism and the pull of 'things'and on this level I could relate to her bitterness and her often indecision. I think there was a huge moral lesson in this book and a real understanding of what makes for lasting happiness, fulfillment and satisfaction. The history was well depicted explaining well the Irish cause. The characters were vividly drawn and Ellie and her mother were very interesting and three-dimensional. This made them very believable. The description was powerful and there was some stunning imagery when she was portraying the American countryside and this was very compelling when juxtaposed with the land in Ireland; both metaphors depicting the heart of each place. My only criticism is the way Charles kept miraculously and coincidentally appearing and that didn't seem to be too credible to me. This is a wonderful and intelligent book and a very enjoyable read. I thoroughly recommend this.
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