Several years ago, I read Paradise Alley by Kevin Baker. Although taking place in New York City, it offered a background story of an Irish character which offered a glimpse into the horrors experienced in Ireland during the potato famine. Never before had I heard such a sad and terrible story.
Because They Never Do is the story of the author’s ancestor, Michael Monaghan, and his life in Roscommon, Ireland during the 1840’s. This novel is an excellent and heartbreaking look at the politics, discrimination and ultimately starvation that affected the Irish during these awful years.
I enjoyed this book so much. Monaghan obviously did an incredible amount of research to put this story together and I was impressed with his ability to relate a moving and gripping tale. My only complaint was that it was a bit wordy at times and he could have used a good editor. But I would still recommend this book. The dark period of Irish history is important and in spite of the sad theme, there was ultimately a happy ending – thank goodness!
4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2002