I’m horrified. It’s over four years since I last read the fabulous Carmel Harrington when I reviewed The Woman at 72 Derry Lane in a post you’ll find here. It was my privilege to host a guest post from Carmel and to review The Things I Should Have Told you here.
Today, I’m rectifying the fact that I’ve been missing out on Carmel’s books by reviewing The Moon Over Kilmore Quay. My grateful thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours for inviting me to participate in this blog tour.
The Moon Over Kilmore Quay was published in paperback by Harper Collins on 17th February 2022 and is available for purchase through the links here.
The Moon Over Kilmore Quay
When your heart belongs in two places, can you ever truly find home?
Brooklyn, New York,
Bea has grown up in the heart of the Irish community, always hearing stories of home. When she discovers a letter from her younger self, written years before, it sends her deep into her own family history.
Kilmore Quay, Ireland.
Years earlier, Lucy Mernagh leaves her much-loved home and family in search of the New York dream. The Big Apple is a world away from the quiet village she grew up in, and the longing for home aches within her.
When Bea uncovers a shocking secret, it takes her back across the water to Kilmore Quay, where – finally – long-buried truths will come to light. But fate has one last twist in store…
My Review of The Moon Over Kilmore Quay
A childhood letter to herself has repercussions for Bea.
Initially, it took me a while to settle in to the structure of The Moon Over Kilmore Quay, and I wondered if I would enjoy it as much as I have previous books by this author, but Carmel Harrington writes with such engagement for the reader that I was soon totally immersed in the story.
The plot is deceptive. It seems relatively straight-forward to begin with, with a focus on character, but there’s so much more to uncover than I expected. It’s quite difficult to say more without spoiling the story, but I loved the gradual uncovering of truths – both for the characters and for the reader. I thoroughly appreciated the way Bea’s own personal history was layered over her role as an investigator looking for lost family members. Indeed, The Moon Over Kilmore Quay, contains so many carefully wrought strata, from the role of immigrants retaining a cultural identity, through the way place affects our identity, to the impact of family folklore and narratives that make us who we are or who we want to be. Echoes from the past such as the Three Amigos of Maeve, Michelle and Lucy being reflected in the more up-to-date relationships between Bea, Stephanie and Katrina help the reader understand we are both more, and less, than we might believe. I thought Carmel Harrington’s understanding of human nature was pitch perfect. I was completely invested in Bea in particular because she felt so lost to begin with and so complete by the end. Lucy too has an authenticity that I found completely captivating.
The New York and Irish settings are so well balanced. I found myself transported back to my own experience of living in New York and equally desperate to discover Ireland. I want to sit and eat fish and chips looking out over the water, licking the salt and vinegar from my fingers!
The Moon Over Kilmore Quay is the kind of book that creeps up on you. It made me forget I was reading a work of fiction. Instead I felt I was being told two very personal stories through Bea and Lucy’s strands as if they were both confiding in me. The themes of friendship, family, secrets, truth and belonging are magnificently presented, making for a truly emotional and captivating read.
Having begun The Moon over Kilmore Quay feeling slightly detached, I ended it completely immersed in the story and a total snivelling wreck. It has all the hallmarks of Carmel Harrington’s trademark emotional writing with a touch of mystery I hadn’t anticipated. I thoroughly enjoyed it – even if I did need rather a lot of tissues!
About Carmel Harrington
Carmel Harrington is from Co. Wexford, where she lives with her husband, her children and their rescue dog. An Irish Times bestseller and regular panellist on radio and TV, her warm and emotional storytelling has captured the hearts of readers worldwide.
Carmel’s novels have been shortlisted for an Irish Book Award in 2016 & 2017 and her debut won Kindle Book of the Year and Romantic eBook of the Year in 2013.
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