THE JOURNEYMAN is an Irish historical romance, a compelling tale of intrigue, danger and romance, set against the backdrop of a perilously unpredictable 18th century Ireland.
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There are no dazzlingly handsome, wealthy action heros or beyond belief beauties here, but real characters … hard working, Irish country folk who grow to depend upon each other through a dangerous and oppressive time in Ireland’s history … a time of hardship, fear and persecution.
Liam Flynn travels across Tipperary, his destination the shores of Lough Derg, his objective to fulfill a lifelong dream. The perils he encounters on the road are only the beginning for this young itinerant carpenter. He finds himself thrust into an impossible situation when, with the help of an old Franciscan priest, he tries to save the tiny Irish village of Gortalocca. If he is discovered by the authorities, he faces almost certain execution for treason and, when the villagers discover what action he has taken in his efforts to help them, he becomes the object of their contempt and hatred.
These are dangerous times in Ireland and, as the country struggles to piece itself back together after a hundred years of conflict, the very fabric of society has changed. English Parliament has begun to impose harsh Penal Laws in Ireland which will ban Catholics from voting, from receiving an education, even from practicing their own faith. Catholics can no longer own their own land. More than ninety percent of Ireland’s land will be confiscated and given to English and Irish Protestant landlords, who will charge the rightful owners rent as they try to eke out a living on land which their families have worked for generations. Liam and Father Grogan risk their lives in an effort to save their peaceful Irish village from dissolution.
A consummate loner, Liam has led a solitary life so far but he finds romance in Gortalocca, not with a retiring Irish lass, but rather with the feisty daughter of Michael Hogan, the owner of Gortalocca’s only store and bar. Roisin grew up in a man’s environment and has seen enough to know that she will never wed if it means compromising herself by marrying a man she doesn’t love. Now, at the age of nineteen, Roisin Hogan is a spinster.
There is plenty of fast-paced action in our story and villains abound, from Gortalocca’s homegrown bully, Sean Reilly, and his gang of thugs, to the menacing dark man who appears from nowhere, posing a threat to Liam’s plan and adding a further complication to his life.
Of course, an Irish story would not be complete without humor, and there is plenty of ‘craic’ to be had here. In Hogan’s bar, you will experience, first hand, the humor which epitomises the character of the people of Ireland, and sustains them, especially in times of crisis … an unconscious humor, one of habit. You will sit at the bar with Paddy Shevlin, the pig farmer and Ben Clancy, the shepherd, whose banter provides a welcome respite from the tension, and who never let the truth get in the way of a good story.
First generation Irish/American author, born in Brooklyn, New York, retired doctor now residing in a thatched cottage in Tipperary … there is no better place to write an Irish novel. If you wish, you can find out more about me from my new author’s Facebook page