THE KEENERS
by Maura D. Shaw

March 2005
ISBN: 1-932815-15-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Medallion Press
Hardcover
Rating:



Margaret Meehan is a Keener of Ireland, wailing the grief and pain of the bereaved in hopes of healing their sorrow, when their loved ones pass this world to the next.


This is Ireland in 1846, the potato famine is back, people are dying from lack of food, being tossed out of their homes, as there is no jobs to be had. Margaret realizes she can not keen for all of Ireland and she is saddened by this. But she is also happy, as she is about to marry Tom Riordan, the man she has loved for a long time.


Her life starts unraveling after her Mother dies, her best friend looses her mind, her brother wants to leave and try to find work in Belfast, and her husband is now a wanted man for murder. They need to flee Ireland, or risk losing their lives.


They arrive in Troy, New York to start a new life. Tom is still involved in freeing Ireland from the English. Margaret tells him, she will never go back, if he wants to, he will go by himself. They agree to send money and guns to Ireland. Tom promises he will not go back.


Tom helps start a union for the iron workers, while Margaret works her way to a forewoman in the collar shops where they also start unions. Life is good here in America, there is food, they have their own home, they have healthy children, but Margaret still feels the need to keen for her fallen countryman. She learns quickly that they donít do that in America. She has to learn to stuff her keening deep inside herself. She never tells her children or grandchildren about her keening abilities.


If you like to read about Ireland and all her legends, charms and history, this is the book for you. This is a worthwhile book.


Reviewed in February 2005 by Pat.

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