Today I am doing a requested review of TAN by David Lawlor.
Blurb: ‘Peelers have a knack for hitting you where it hurts; broken nose, bruised ribs, a few loosened teeth…no more than a rapist deserved, Sergeant Coveney and District Inspector Webber had said. Proper order, too – except the lad was no rapist, and Webber knew it.’
It’s 1914 and Liam Mannion is forced into exile for a crime he didn’t commit. He flees Balbriggan, the only home he has ever known and travels to England, where he enlists and endures the torment of trench warfare in France. Five years later he’s back in England, a changed man, living in the shadow of his battlefield memories. Liam finds work in a Manchester cotton mill but prejudice and illness soon see him destitute. Starving and desperate, he enlists in a new military force heading to Ireland – the Black and Tans – and is posted to the very town he fled as a youth.
While he has been away Liam’s childhood friends have joined the republican cause, while his brother has allied himself to the Crown forces. Liam must wrestle with his own conflicted feelings about duty to the ruthless Tans and loyalty to his friends. The potent combination of ambition, patriotism and betrayal collide, forcing him to act as he comes face to face with the man who spread lies about him all those years before.
My Review: It has been awhile since I read a book I had trouble putting down at bedtime. This book is one of those. From the beginning I was drawn into the lives and world of the people of the early days of the IRA. From Liam getting run out of town to the final scene I was hooked. You always want all of the good, fight for the right, characters to end up happily ever after however since this is historical fiction you know they can not. You suffer the sadness and horror they go through while fighting for their independence from the brutal rule of the British. It is one of the best historical novels I have read in a long time and I was not ready for it to end.
Plot and execution is a 5
Accuracy and continuity is a 5
Editing is a 4
all around a 5 and a great read. Recommend highly.