Monday, May 21, 2018

From the Ferocious O'Flaherty's O Lord deliver us!

From the Ferocious O Flaherty’s O Lord deliver us
— Plaque on the walls of Galway City

My husband is a Flaherty so I have heard this slogan before.  In fact, last year when we visited Ireland we had to visit Aughnanure Castle, which is considered the O'Flaherty castle, I heard and read this quote often.  I also remembered when I toured the castle and read the historic plaques that decorated the walls, that Donal O'Flaherty married Grace O'Malley.  They had three or four children.

Grace O'Malley is a famous pirate.  One of my hiking friends, Mary Connors, told me she was related to Grace O'Malley, so we consider ourselves related through mutual interest, if not blood-related.  During one of our hikes, she excitedly related the story of someone tracing their family back to Grace O'Malley.  Evidently, she had been to a Talk by an author who had just written a novel that interwove tracing his Irish family history to a genealogical mystery.  She was so animated that I caught her enthusiasm.

After our hike, she gave me the book.  The author is Richard T. Rook and it turns out, another of our hikers knows him.  He said Rook lives in Sheldonville and you could easily bump into him at the Sheldonville Post Office.  You can "friend" Richard Rook on facebook.

The book is Tiernan's Wake.  It is a nice, easy read.  Anyone who has done any ancestry genealogy can follow Michael Tiernan's research.  Tiernan is a major character and his well drawn.  Another protagonist is Aedan Burns. Aedan is a hoot.  He has the money to be fun.  He funds Tiernan's search to follow Grace O'Malley's family tree.  Anyone who is Irish will love this novel.  Anyone interested in genealogy would enjoy the story.  So would a mystery lover.  Did I leave anyone out?  It's for everyone.

Although at first, I was annoyed by Tiernan's irreverence to the Catholic Church.  I was all set to write a scathing reprimand to the author, for his misrepresentation of Catholic theology.  Did he stop his study of religious education in the sixth grade?  His view of the Catholic religion is adolescent ridicule.  Although, there are enough people with only an adolescent's theological understanding to think Catholic bashing is humorous. Making fun of what some people hold sacred is just plain mean.  One character, Mrs. Carty, was the victim of ridicule.   Her piety and general "do-good" personality were easy to mock.  Bullies find that wit funny.  I don't.

For your penance, Richard T. Rock, you must write another novel about trying to find out what happened at Knock.  And there must be a conversion in the plot, from agnostic detective to a devout monk.

But I never did write that letter.  In fact the next day, I felt differently.  After all, Rook is Irish.  Irreverance is bred in the genes.  Catholic bashing sells.  


Yes, I still recommend the book. Tiernan's Wake is available on Kindle for just $ 3.99 and on Amazon for $ 14.33  Lulu has the same price, too.  It has gotten excellent reviews, five stars!  Mystery lovers will enjoy the plot.  Of course, genealogy fans will relate.  And those who love reading about local venus will love the Boston references, as well as the Irish settings.  Everyone will enjoy the story, except maybe the Mrs. Carty types.  Oh all right!  I enjoyed it too.  And I forgive Richard T. Rook.  I am only codding.

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