Sunday, December 22, 2013

Beyond the Cliffs of Kerry by Amanda Hughes

From goodreads.com:

Beyond the Cliffs of Kerry

by 
It seduces her like a lover. It bewitches her like a spell. It is something mysterious and powerful that Darcy McBride must follow beyond the cliffs of Kerry. Ireland in 1755 is a terrible place ravaged by famine and the brutal occupation of the British, there seems to be no escape. Darcy joins a group of smugglers who trade illegally with the French and when operation is discovered, she is transported to the English Colonies for servitude. Shattered by war and bloodshed, Darcy finds the colonists on a feeding frenzy of survival. She refuses to be devoured and meets them with determination and fire stopping them in their tracks. When she confronts the brash and attractive Jean Michel Lupe', a surveyor for the Crown, sparks fly, and Darcy meets her match. His blend of refinement and frontier masculinity unsettles and entices her. Together, they are swept into a whirlwind of violence and intrigue that threatens their love and their survival.

"As he stepped out into the pouring rain, Jean Michel had to regain his composure. He was not sure he liked the feelings that were churning inside him. This McBride woman had the ability to reach into his soul and open doors he thought were closed forever. She ignited a desire in him that was beyond anything he had ever imagined. Confused and overwhelmed, he blamed it on long months without carnal pleasures, and pushing it from his mind; he started down the path for the McDermott homestead."
Kindle EditionText to speech enabled414 pages
Published April 2011 by Amazon Digital Services (first published 2002)
original title
Beyond the Cliffs of Kerry
 
Leona's Review:
Beyond the Cliffs of Kerry by Amanda Hughes
This is my first read by Amanda Hughes and I was not disappointed.
The story begins in 1755 in Ireland where Darcy McBride and her brother are part of a  smugglers group in order to survive in hard times. Life in Kerry has been difficult for Darcy and her brother, Liam, They are the last of their family; the others have died during the Great Hunger of 1740. The smugglers are caught and Darcy becomes an indentured servant. She is bought by Nathan Lawrence, a British soldier. Her new life begins in Massachusetts where it is still the "frontier".
I like the use of defining the chores at this time period such as the skinning deer, baking the beans, making a Sally Lund cake and gardening. I have never heard the term "three sisters" which is corn, beans and squash. Years ago, I was a volunteer in the exhibit of the Maya Indians of Mexico at a museum in St. Paul, Minnesota and I referred to corn, beans and squash as a staple. More information is available on the Web for those interested.  When reading a book such as this, we are reminded of how easy we have it when we can go to the store and buy so many things pre-made. It also details the clothing at the time as well as building the cabins.
This is a love story and there are sexual times in the book. As an indentured servant, a woman must obey the commands of the man who bought her; it is still well done. Some bad language but it fits the time and occasion.
There is death as the settlers fight off the Indians and the English and French are at war. Some gory scenes during the fights and the heart begins to beat faster as people flee and run for their lives. "Life on the frontier was indeed cruel". (page 337 Kindle edition)
God is present on the book even though it is not a Christian love story. "When he (Jean Michel) became frustrated he remembered what Etienne had told him years ago, that God always reveals the way; simply wait for it to unfold." (page 309 Kindle edition)
Even though this book tells about the hard conditions there are still some good times in the book. Friendships are made and there is love and kindness.
Some characters are:
Darcy McBride- The main woman character. She has so much strength and is a true heroine of any book.
Jean Michel Lupe- A surveyor in America who falls in love with Darcy
Etienne- A priest from America who comes to Ireland. He teaches Darcy to read and they become close friends.
Nathan Lawrence- He buys the papers of Darcy and now owns her for seven years.
Liam McBride- Brother of Darcy.
Bran Moynaham- Sold into indentured servant for seven years and was returning to Ireland. He was to marry Darcy before he went to America.
Telia- A good friend of Darcy who lives in Ireland.
Raoul LaRoche- A French Voyager who befriends Darcy in America,
 
The book is dedicated : To my mother. She taught me to love books and to love Ireland.
Acknowledgements: Special thanks to Ronnell Porter for the cover art and design.
I downloaded this book on Amazon.com because it looked interesting. Ireland is one place I have not visited. I also have not read a book about the American frontier in years. I give it a 5 Star rating. I would re-read this book and recommend it to people who like historical novels. The opinions are my own.
You may find Amanda Hughes on goodreads.com and www.amandahughesauthor.com
Leona Olson

2 comments:

Amanda Hughes said...

Thank you for the review. I am so glad that you enjoyed Beyond the Cliffs of Kerry. I am off now to explore some of your other blog posts and thanks again.
Amanda Hughes

Leona Olson said...

You are welcome. I look forward to reading your books again. Leona