This is the first book I’ve read by Michael Reynolds and it leaves me wanting to read the next installment around July 2013. The Flight of the Earls (not the historical event) is a story about one girl’s escape from Ireland to America at the outbreak of the potato famine. Relying on her own ambitious nature and the guiding hand of Providence, she leads her brother Seamus and friend Pierce to the towering skyscrapers of Manhattan and the promise of a new life in a new world.
Clare’s life changes dramatically once in America, but extends well beyond the shores of America as Clare learns more about herself and her extended family. In the process, she learns about her need to rely on God when there is nothing else that is solid and unchanging.
Reynolds’ development of Clare as a character is intriguing and reason enough to read the book. As a historical novel, Reynolds paints a compelling picture of an important era in Irish history, and the history of America. Clare represents an entire people who came to America looking for something more and became the first of many generations of Irish Catholics to immigrate. The historical details are vivid and enrich the novel’s storyline as the characters develop in the midst of a tragic time in the history of Ireland.
The book is a good introduction to historical fiction for those who have not been exposed to that genre. Reynolds’ second book will be a welcome addition to the series and will make for a good summer read. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story with a rich historical background.