by Rick Magers
Category: Fiction / General
516 pages; ISBN: 1410733912
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
1st Books Library, 2003, 516 pp.
In 1780 Dublin, Sean Brennan McKannah was born in a tiny apartment near the docks. When Sean was thirteen, a fire killed his family leaving him an impoverished orphan. With nothing to keep him in Ireland, Sean finds work on a ship headed by Captain Patrick Mullholland, who likes the lad’s courage. Eventually Sean leaves his mentor to begin work as a trapper. His partner Francisco “Frank: de Rivera Santiago make a go of it in the San Francisco area. Sean marries Frank’s sister Issabella “Bella”. They lovingly raise five sons and a daughter all born between 1802 and 1807.
However, Sean and Bella soon realize that their six children will go their own way regardless of how much their parents love them and want the best for them. Their journeys have begun. Patrick and Broderick head east wanting to become lawyers; Ian loves to gamble; Simon thinks of joining the Texas Rangers; Jesse seeks solace and salvation perhaps with an Indian tribe; and finally Aleena struggles to find happiness.
THE MCKANNAHS is a superb late eighteenth to mid nineteenth century family saga that readers will fully enjoy. The key players are an ensemble, but each has a distinct personality that makes them seem very real and in turn enables the audience to fully appreciate life in Ireland and especially in North America. Though the book may have been better off as seven novels that would allow expansion of Sean’s salad days, Rick Magers provides a deep drama that vividly brings to life a bygone period like few tales eve do. Fans of epic historical novels will want to travel with the McKannah brood...
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