Friday, October 6, 2017

Julie's Review: The Crows of Beara

Author: Julie Christine Johnson
Series: None
Publication Date: September 1, 2017
Publisher: Ashland Creek Press
Pages: 402
Obtained: Author
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Bottom Line: A wonderful story of losing yourself and then finding yourself again
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab
Summary: When Annie Crowe travels from Seattle to a small Irish village to promote a new copper mine, her public relations career is hanging in the balance. Struggling to overcome her troubled past and a failing marriage, Annie is eager for a chance to rebuild her life. Yet when she arrives on the remote Beara Peninsula, Annie learns that the mine would encroach on the nesting ground of an endangered bird, the Red-billed Chough, and many in the community are fiercely protective of this wild place. Among them is Daniel Savage, a local artist battling demons of his own, who has been recruited to help block the mine. Despite their differences, Annie and Daniel find themselves drawn toward each other, and, inexplicably, they begin to hear the same voice--a strange, distant whisper of Gaelic, like sorrow blowing in the wind. Guided by ancient mythology and challenged by modern problems, Annie must confront the half-truths she has been sent to spread and the lies she has been telling herself. Most of all, she must open her heart to the healing power of this rugged land and its people. Beautifully crafted with environmental themes, a lyrical Irish setting, and a touch of magical realism, The Crows of Beara is a breathtaking novel of how the nature of place encompasses everything that we are.  

Review: The Crows of Beara is about losing yourself, becoming some one you don't recognize, to gaining back the control in your life. Annie is at the end of her rope with her marriage and her job. Her life has been derailed for some time and this trip to Ireland for work is her way of trying to get back on track. Annie has been lost for so long that she's not sure where to start and how to start.

Her mission while in Ireland is to convince the locals that the jobs the mine would bring out weighs the cost to the environment around them. She partners with the CEO of the mine to outline what their agenda and strategy is going forward. Except there's something a bit unsettling about how James feels completely comfortable with her right from the beginning.

As she's hiking along the Beara Peninsula, she feels drawn to the land and to what it is trying to say to her. The longer she's there the more time she spends on it, the more she feels the pull of it. She knows this job could end her career but she's not so sure any more that its a bad thing.

Annie is a character that you cheer for, that you want her to find her way. You know she's going to stumble but can she recover from that bump in the road.  You want her to forgive herself for her past mistakes and move on from them. Self-loathing will get her no where.

What I love about Ms. Johnson's writing is that she adds a mystical bend to the plot that adds mystery and intrigue into it. In this case it's the legend of the Old Hag of Beara and the song that sings to both Annie and Danny. It is about how a place can heal you and help you find who you are meant to be. Home isn't always a place but a feeling and often the people you surround yourself with as well.

If you love books about finding yourself and how sometimes you need to have setbacks to put you on the right path, then pick up The Crows of Beara.



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