Book review: The Tenants of Time by Thomas Flanagan


The Tenants of Time  (The Thomas Flanagan Trilogy #2)The Tenants of Time by Thomas Flanagan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just arrived from USA through BM.

After I have read Trinity by Leon Uris, which was recommended to my by an Irish author – Jean Harrington, I could never have imagined I would read a better book about Ireland’s story.

This is the second book of Thomas Flanagan Trilogy.

In the first book of this series, the large amount of narrators, eight in the total, did bother me. Since I was trying to following the story of each individual narrator, sometimes I was lost into the middle of narrative.

In this second book, I got more used with the writer’s style of writing. His main virtue is to intertwine fiction with history in a brilliant way.

The plot is about the story of four men – Ned Nolan, Hugh MacMahon, Robert Delaney and Vincent Tully. who participate in the Irish Rising of 1887 and how their lives were affected by the battle of Clonbony Wood. These four friends since their boyhood, they joined the Fenian brotherhood in 1865. After that, their lives take their own destiny.

Quotations:
Page 99:

“So far as County Cork is concerned, the Fenian rising go 1867 began with what is known to this day as “Nolan’s Raid,” which took place on the night of February 20.”

Page 174:

“The people of these valleys , and of the valleys and hills across Ireland, died in their cabins or begging to be admitted to the workhouses, and their unconfined bodies were tipped into the famine graves. Many more took leave of their homes, and at Queenstown boarded the coffin ships for New York, where the streets are paved not with gold but with work and loneliness.”

Page 224:

“The Rising marked us all, all of us who had been out on that March morning, all of us save, no doubt, myself, a sedentary man who was glad enough to leave behind him his prison sentence, and the gunfire, the blazing barracks, and the men we left dead or writhing in their agony in the streets of Kilpeder….”

Page 443:

“Ribbon Fenians. The success of the Land League came in good measure from the enterprise of the “Ribbon Fenians”, as they were called… It was held by Fenians pur sang that land agitation was a base and vulgar distraction from the cause of an armed rebellion intended to establish a free and fully in dependent republican state.”

I am looking forward to finish this magnificent trilogy.


“Irish Emigrants Leaving Home – The Priest’s Blessing” courtesy of New York Public Library Digital Collections.

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