“Beyond the Cliffs of Kerry” Amanda Hughes

Rated 5 stars ***** ebook. 2011. (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform).

BeyondTheCliffsOfKerryDarcy McBride and her brother Liam had survived the Great Hunger of 1740 in their hometown of Kerry, Ireland. With the rest of their family lost to starvation, Liam turned into a bitter, hard drinking man who hated the British for their laws against Catholics. He and Darcy joined a small ring of smugglers in 1755 to trade wool with the French, helping their village obtain food and allowing them a small measure of revenge against the British.

One night they smuggled a priest into the village, deliberately breaking the British law that did not allow the Irish to have a priest or worship as Catholics. Severe penalties would result if it were known they were harboring a priest, but the villagers of Kerry were determined to worship as they pleased. Father Etienne was eager to help the people who had been without a priest for so long, and soon became an important part of their lives. Sensing a love for knowledge he taught Darcy to read, opening a new world for her as she and Father Etienne’s friendship bonded over her education.

Darcy’s life changed again when she was arrested and sentenced to 7 years of bondage in the American Colonies for her role in the smuggling ring. Her life as an indentured mistress, as well as battles of the heart and the times are excitingly detailed in “Beyond the Cliffs of Kerry.” Readers will be drawn to her independent spirit and fiery attitude, and lovers of historical fiction will see the beginnings of the French and Indian War come to life in its pages.

Despite a few too many commas in the wrong places, I thoroughly enjoyed this self-published book. It is one of the rare ones that captured my attention because of its storyline, and because it was well edited.

Recommended for Adult readers.

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