Saturday 12 January 2019

Blog Tour: A River in the Trees by Jacqueline O'Mahony

There are some books that I pick up to read and I feel so lucky that I got a chance to read them, A River in the Trees is one of those books. A stunning story, beautifully written. Read on for my full review as part of the blog tour.


I think it's safe to say that this book took my breath away. Never have I felt so transported between two worlds that weren't fantasy. Jacqueline is a beautiful writer. She knows how to play on her readers emotions and make you feel as if you could be one of the characters yourself. 
Set in Ireland across two centuries, A River in the Trees is a emotive story of love, loss and hardship and I was completely transported between the two worlds of Hannah and Ellen.

One hundred years apart, Hannah and Ellen share a history. Hannah lives through the hardship of the fight for Irish Independence and helps her Father to hide some of the IRA rebels from the British army. They know the risks they are taking, but they are fighting in their own way for freedom and it's how she meets O'Riada, the leader of this particular band of rebels and causes events to unfold that change her family's fortune forever. Ellen has come back to Ireland from London seeking something but she isn't sure what. She seems to be running away from something although she won't admit to herself exactly what that is, so she's come back to face up to her past. It's while she is here that she feels a strong connection to her great aunt Hannah O'Donovan. No one in her family will talk about her and Ellen feels herself determined to find out exactly what happened to her.

The story I felt most drawn to out of the two women was Hannah's. Life for a woman in the 1920's was hard enough so throw into the mix rebel fighters and the fight for Irish independence and to be a woman suddenly becomes even more dangerous. But Hannah is a fighter and I was in awe of her strength of mind and character. The more I got to know her the more I just couldn't believe that the rumours about her were true and I was desperate to know her fate. I found Ellen's story on the other hand harder to read. Ellen has a different battle on her hands and whilst I felt sorry for her, it was harder to warm to her and her self-destructive nature, but the further we got into the story the more I felt for her.

What I thought was done incredibly well in A River in the Trees was the seamless switching between the two women's points of view. There was nothing to tell you whether it was Hannah or Ellen speaking, but you just instantly knew. 

The only criticism I have of this story is that I wish there had been more. I wanted to know more about Hannah and why she never came back and where Ellen's life eventually led. I think I could have just continued to read and read and be forever swept up in these two women's worlds.
Beautiful, poignant and even lyrical, A River in the Trees was an unexpected gem of a book.

A River in the Trees is out now

This review was part of the A River in the Trees blog tour

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