Book review with thanks to Amazon.com: Literary Beaufort: Ireland’s Final Rebellion 1919-1921 and An American Dream by Michael Gerard
Our small town of Beaufort, South Carolina, has had the good fortune to nurture gifted authors over a period of more than 200 years–William Elliott (Carolina Sports by Land and Water) and William J. Grayson (The Hireling and the Slave) in the 19th century; Samuel Hopkins Adams (The Erie Canal and many other inspiring children’s novels), Francis Griswold (A Sea Island Lady, inspired by Gone with the Wind), and Pat Conroy (The Prince of Tides and many other Lowcountry novels) in the 20th century; and now Michael Gerard from Ireland, a long-time Beaufort resident, in the 21st century.
Michael Gerard (a pseudonym) recently published his two-book novel, available in one volume from Amazon, that carries the reader along with the Kane family from the old and free mystic Ireland through conquest by Britain followed by centuries of Irish Rebellion, the Great Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s, the Land Wars, the Easter Rising of 1916, the Irish War of Independence resulting in The Irish Free State and Northern Ireland via partition, followed by the horrific Irish Civil War. Peace then followed, resulting in the modest prosperity that an agriculture-based economy could muster through the World War II years. The Kane family story is picked up again by young Sean [loosely modelled after the author] as he grows up in the modest Ireland of the 1960s, then pursues a quest on behalf of his father, which leads him to his promised land–America. He finds himself among the large throng of undocumented Irish immigrants, together with multiple other ethnic immigrants all chasing the holy grail–a green card.
This book is both a lesson in Irish history and an inspiring story of determination to fulfill dreams. It is a must-read for everyone who is part of the Irish diaspora and for those who aspire to beat the odds and achieve their personal dream. The climax comes in America, still the promised land for millions of immigrants, legal and illegal, who continue to understand that the United States is still mankind’s last best hope on earth.
Comment on the Amazon site: “Beaufort SC lost author Pat Conroy a few years ago but Michael Gerard is a worthy successor to take his place. Enjoy this book as I promise that you will be entertained, educated, and spiritually moved.”