by Emilie Richards

July 2003
ISBN: 1-55166-709-6
Reviewer Graphic Button Mira Books
Mass Market Paperback

The Parting Glass by Emilie Richards is the continuing story of the Donaghue sisters, Megan, Casey, and Peggy. As I didnít read the first story, Whiskey Island I canít tell you exactly where The Parting Glass picks up, but I can tell you that you donít need to have read Whiskey Island to know the family, and be able to get full enjoyment from Ms. Richardís new book.

The Parting Glass starts with a bang. Newlyweds Megan and Niccoloís car has been damaged by a tree falling on it during a storm, but thatís not all thatís damaged in the storm. The Donaghue family saloon, Whiskey Island is also damaged, and there appears no way to get the guests from the wedding reception out. A head check of guests turns up a missing guest, the girls father Rooney who is an unstable person emotionally. They find him in the basement searching for a tunnel that was used back in the days of Prohibition. He succeeds in finding it, and as the story unfolds the tunnels under the saloon play an integral part of the story.

Peggy Donaghue is the main focus of The Parting Glass. She has an autistic son, Keiran, and feels that early intervention is the key to being able to help him. She has, for the time being given up her dream of being a doctor, and attending medical school to take her son to Ireland for a year. There she will live with long lost relative Irene Tierney, and provide companionship to a dying woman whom never married nor had children. In exchange for allowing Peggy to live with her Irene wants any and all information she can get on family who may have and may still be living in Cleveland. Peggy leaves the job of unraveling the family tree in the capable hands of her sisters, Megan and Casey.

While in Ireland Peggy meets Finn OíMalley, a difficult man to get to know because of his own personal tragedies. Finn was a doctor who has abandoned his practice because of his fear of being able to make decisions quickly, and correctly. Not only did he give up on his patients, heís also given up on his daughter Bridie. Both Peggy and Finn feel that a relationship is the last thing they need, but the village of Shanmullin, and fate both have other ideas about that.

As we all know fate is a fickle thing, and soon the Donaghue sisters are reunited in Ireland. They all get to know and love Irene, and that instant bonding has led them back to their very own saloon to find the end to the long path that led them to Ireland in a search for roots, and family. With this surprise twist Ms. Richardís has done an interesting job of wrapping up loose ends, and yet not making any of the sisters feel as though they had been used, or with a loss of respect for Irene.

The final story of the book also ends with much anticipation on the readerís part, and I donít want to give a spoiler. Suffice it to say that Finn is finally forced to be the man and doctor that Peggy and Irene always knew he could be. Itís the perfect ending for the third book in the series. Will there be a third book? I honestly donít know, however I do know should there be I will be among the first in line to read it.

Reviewed in July 2003 by Sandi.

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