Three outstanding books by Irish authors to celebrate that pot of gold at the end of the reading rainbow! 

The Library at the Edge of the World
By Felicity Hayes McCoy

Hanna Casey has spent the last few years reinventing herself. After escaping a failed marriage from an upscale London suburb with little more than the clothes on her back and her beautiful daughter Jazz, Hanna now runs the library in a rural village on Ireland’s west coast where she spent her childhood. Jazz, now grown, working as a flight attendant, has left Hanna on her own, living with her oppressive mother who criticizes her every move. When Hanna learns she has inherited her late aunt’s crumbling cottage on the outskirts of town, it becomes her mission to shake up her life once again. Throw in the most peculiar but kind-hearted handyman, a local council that threatens to close the library and a handsome city clerk hiding his own complicated past and there is quite some drama to contend with. As Hanna cruises the countryside in her mobile library van, gossip spreads like wildfire and this Irish tale will have you dreaming of these rocky shores.

The Pull of the Stars
By Emma Donoghue

It is 1918 in Dublin, World War I is just ending and the Spanish Flu pandemic has taken over their world. Nurse Julia Power works in an understaffed hospital maternity ward for flu patients. Since she has overcome a mild case, she is a perfect candidate to help, as it is believed she will most likely not contract the virus again. In this dark, small, musty space, Nurse Julia helps a variety of women get through some of the toughest days of their lives. She assists Dr. Kathleen Lynn, a rebellious (almost unheard of) female physician. An unexpected volunteer called Bridie shows up and continues to surprise everyone she meets. This imaginative cast of characters details life during this difficult time in history, as these brave women battle a pandemic they know little about. With few resources and supplies they do everything possible under dire circumstances. Well-known Irish author Emma Donoghue transports us to this gloomy hospital setting more than 100 years ago, making our recent inconveniences seem minor in comparison.

Conversations with Friends
By Sally Rooney

Frances and Bobbi have been best friends for as long as they could remember. Now at university in Dublin, their popular spoken-word poetry performance has gotten them quite a bit of attention. At a recent show, a journalist/photographer named Melissa introduces herself. Sophisticated and accomplished, Melissa draws the girls into her artistic world of lavish homes and dinner parties. As most of Melissa’s attentions are drawn to Bobbi’s confidence and open sexuality, Melissa’s husband Nick is equally fascinated by Frances and her quiet intellectualism. A handsome struggling actor, Frances is immediately charmed. A decade older than the girls, this mysterious couple and their complicated relationships set the friends at odds as they explore feelings they buried long ago. Experiencing the often painful lessons of love, trust and friendship, Frances and Bobbi must make hard choices that will alter their lives forever. The effortless words of Irish author Sally Rooney (“Normal People”) recalls the trials and tribulations of early adulthood. This is a must-read before it comes to Hulu next year.


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