Book Review

1949: A NOVEL OF THE IRISH FREE STATE
by Morgan Llywelyn

Genre: Historical Romance
Setting: Ireland 1920-1949

2003 Best Historical Novel Nominee

RT Rating

Third in the trilogy, Morgan Llywelyn's fine tale tells of the coming of age of Ned Halloran's adopted daughter, Ursula, and her view of Ireland's fight for freedom from British rule.

As idealistic a freedom fighter as her father, Ursula is schooled in Switzerland and returns home to take a job with the fledgling Irish radio station Radio Erieann. She becomes its first female broadcaster, holding on the front lines as President Eamon De Valera makes strides against the British. She is his supporter until he puts grave restrictions on women; they cannot divorce or work outside the home.

When Ursula discovers she is pregnant out of wedlock, she flees Dublin for Geneva where she gives birth to a son and finds work at the League of Nations, watching the winds of war blow across Europe. After the war Ursula returns with her young son in time to see Ireland finally free from British rule in 1949.

Few authors are able to bring Ireland's difficult fight for freedom into as sharp a focus as Llywelen. Her passion for the country, its people and freedom is evident on every page. Readers interested by Irish history or those searching for a powerful sage will be fascinated by this remarkable trilogy and the Halloran family. (Mar., 400 pp., $22.95)

Reviewed By: Kathe Robin

Publisher: Forge

Published: March 2003

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