Book & CD Review by Colin Merrey – March '09
Sunday, 22 March 2009 05:05
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Once in a Lifetime
by Cathy Kelly

cathy kellyThe compelling new novel from the worldwide bestselling author. Kenny’s Department Store‚ with its handsome Edwardian façade and unique cherry-picked goods‚ is the jewel in the Irish town of Ardagh’s crown. Star Bluestone sells her beautifully crafted tapestries at Kenny’s. Made with natural dyes‚ they embody her motherearth spirit and creative vision. She has a special reason for caring about Kenny’s beyond her sales.

Meanwhile for Ingrid Fitzgerald‚ hotshot political interviewer and wife of David Kenny‚ the store is the ‘other woman’ in her marriage. With her children leaving home and her career blossoming‚ she is worried by the toll the store is taking on her husband.

Charlie Fallon‚ one of David’s staff‚ is one of the first to hear the rumour that Kenny’s is facing a takeover bid. As the threat of closure looms and with an owner who doesn’t seem his usual self - what does the future hold for the women who are bound together by its fortunes?

Cathy Kelly is the author of nine other novels‚ all of which were number 1 bestsellers. In 2005 Cathy became an Ambassador for UNICEF in Ireland‚ helping to raise awareness of the plight of 12 million children orphaned across Africa through AIDS. Cathy Kelly now lives in Wicklow with her partner and young sons.

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The Dramatic Escape of Fenian John Boyle O'Reilly
by Liam Barry (Revised Edition)

john boyle o'reillyThis book was reviewed in an earlier edition of the Irish Scene on its first release. Since then, it has been re-issued by way of this second edition.

For the benefit of those of you who did not read the book when it was first issued, it tells the story of John Boyle O’Reilly who was convicted of high treason for his revolutionary activities and transported to Fremantle Gaol for a period of twenty years.

Following his transfer to Bunbury, he famously escaped and was carried to Boston USA on board of the Catalpa, and American whaling ship. Liam carried out extensive research in preparations for this book and it is a gripping and interesting read.

If you haven’t already read this book, I urge you to get hold of a copy – you won’t regret it and I know you will enjoy it.

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Pearls
by Ronnie Drew (Music CD)

pearlsAlthough I have received several CD’s to review this month, I have chosen two of them for your consideration.

The first is “Pearls”, the final CD to be produced by the late and much lamented Ronnie Drew. On this outing, he is teamed with the group Grand Canal. Some of the items are songs while others are various poems that are accompanied by music from the band. My favourite tracks are 'At The Tail End of a Hurricane', 'Bagpipe Music' and 'Dunes'. It is a fitting memorial to one of the finest musical performers that Ireland has
produced for a long many years. It may only be available on import but it is well worth taking the time to find it.

The Priests
a collection of religious songs and arias

the priestsSecondly, I commend to you a self titled album by the Priests. This is a collection of religious songs and arias expertly performed and presented. You will know most of these songs already but they are here presented in the inimitable style of the Priests and I found it very emotive but at the same time very listenable.

Standout tracks for me are 'Panis Angelicus', 'Pie Jesu', and 'The Irish Blessing'. Again, try hard to find this CD – I know you will find it to be worth the effort.

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