Beneath an Irish Sky by Isabella Connor

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Beneath an Irish Sky by Isabella Connor

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Louise Jones
Reviewed by Louise Jones
Summary: An estranged father and son try to cross the class divide and put the past behind them in this intense family drama.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 424 Date: August 2013
Publisher: Choc Lit
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781781890042

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In a hospital ward, Luke Kiernan is stirring from a tranquiliser-induced sleep following a serious car accident. His ribs and legs hurt and he has an awful feeling that his mother is dead. But who is that stranger sitting beside the bed? Surely it can’t be his father, the father who pushed his mother away twenty years ago because he was ashamed to have a gypo kid around? Luke wants answers. But more than that, he wants revenge.

Beneath an Irish Sky is an intense and engaging story about a broken family, struggling to put the past behind them. Luke’s father, Jack, is a successful businessman and his privileged life could not be in starker contrast to the crippling poverty, violence and deprivation that Luke has encountered all his life. Luke is an angry and vulnerable young man, desperate to find out why his father abandoned his mother when she needed him most. Jack wants answers too. He was heartbroken when Annie left him all those years ago and he swears that he had no idea that she was pregnant. Suffice to say, Luke does not believe a word of it.

This book has a gripping storyline and is a real page-turner. The characters are all wonderfully drawn and are an eclectic mix of personalities who have all been astutely designed to stir an emotional response. The reader cannot help but be drawn into the story, feeling intense anger, despair and helplessness as the true story of what happened to Annie is slowly revealed over the course of the book. I loved the mystery element and trying to piece together exactly who was responsible for Annie’s sudden departure.

I was surprised to discover that the book is actually the result of a collaboration between two writers. The narrative is seamless and they have worked together extremely well to merge their styles into what appears to be the work of a single author. Beneath an Irish Sky deals with some gritty themes, such as prejudice, domestic violence, incest and rape, but never comes across as heavy or depressing. Rather, the subject matter is dealt with sensitively and respectfully and the end result is an uplifting and positive story which will stay with the reader long after the book is finished.

For another tale of family reconciliation, try Coastliners by Joanne Harris. You might also appreciate A Bouquet of Barbed Wire by Andrea Newman.

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Buy Beneath an Irish Sky by Isabella Connor at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Beneath an Irish Sky by Isabella Connor at Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Beneath an Irish Sky by Isabella Connor at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Beneath an Irish Sky by Isabella Connor at


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