Saturday, March 19

Book Review: Tipperary

Title: Tipperary

Author: Frank Delaney

Pages: 445

Summary: Born in 1860 into a respected Irish-Anglo family, Charles O'Brien loves his native land and its irrepressible people. As a healer, he travels the countryside dispensing traditional cures while soaking up stories and legends of bygone times. While in Paris to treat his dying countryman Oscar Wilde, Charles encounters a beautiful and determined young Englishwoman, April Burke, and is instantly and passionately smitten - but callously rejected. Vowing to improve himself, Charles returns to Ireland, where he undertakes the preservation of great and abandoned estate of Tipperary, in whose shadow he has loved his whole life - and which, he discovers, may belong to April and her father.

As Charles pursues his obsession, he writes the "History" of his own life and his country’s emergence as a nation; these are woven together in Frank Delaney's gloriously absorbing novel, which is sweeping, dramatic, and unforgettable as the land itself.

My Rating: 9.25/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I was captivated from this book from the first few pages, and was hooked until the end, at times I practically devoured the book, just a wonderful read and one I’d highly recommend.

Frank Delaney is a talented writer, who can create a very strong story that keeps the reader’s attention and interest throughout the book. I love his writing style; he has a clear voice throughout the book which flows off the pages. It’s very hard to put the book down, when just the writing itself is so well done - and makes for a fantastic reading experience. This book had two separate narratives which switch throughout the book as it tells the story of Charles O’Brien, the history of Ireland and the events that surround him and his country. One narrative is from O’Brien, well the other is from the historian and accounts from journals of the people who knew Charles.

I also found it interesting on how the perspective of events changed from the narratives, as well as what “actually happened”. Charles had a very biased, and at times na├»ve view of people and events around him. It was a very interesting ploy to have a second narrative, to give the facts about the events that O’Brien was writing about. I think this aspect of the book was done very well, as they both came together nicely, I felt that although they were two separate narratives, in two different times, they still came together to tell the story as a whole. As for the connection between the two people, I both liked and disliked it. I kind of saw it coming about half way through the book, but I still enjoyed it in the end, even if it was a little predictable.

I loved reading about the history of Ireland, and the restoration of the Tipperary Castle, as well as learning about Tipperary itself. It made for an engaging read for me as I read the historical fiction aspects of the book.

The only negative thing about the book I can say is I wasn’t a big fan of the characters. I didn’t hate them, but they weren’t ones I could fall in love with - in the first book I read I adored the characters, for this one, I’m a little indifferent about them. They didn’t ruin the book for me, but none of the characters stood out as memorable. Otherwise, it was a phenomenal read, one that I highly recommend - and if not this book than one of the author’s other books.

Would I recommend it to read: Yes! Or anything else by the author - I can see some readers who wouldn’t like the two narratives, as it jumps between them a lot, but it is a book that is at least worth a try. And the overall story is worth reading.

What to read next: Ireland, Shannon - Anything else by the author really.


  1. I loved Delaney's Ireland, and have Tipperary and Shannon on my to-read shelf. Wonderful review!

  2. I read Ireland awhile back and remember really being pulled into the story. It sounds like this one might be worth investigating as well. So glad to hear that you loved it!

  3. Carrie - I also loved Ireland, and if you enjoyed that, than Tipperary is a sure win too. I also have Shannon on my shelf, but will wait a while before reading it. I'm sure it will be just as good as the other books. Hope you get a chance to read more Delaney soon.

    Zibilee - You should be pulled into this story as well. Both are wonderful books, I like Ireland more, but this one was also fantastic.

  4. I hope to read this one at some point. I loved Delaney's Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show and The Matchmaker of Kenmare. Have you read those?

  5. Anna - No I haven't read either, although I am thinking about picking myself up a copy of the Matchmaker of Kenmare.

  6. The Matchmaker is a sequel to Venetia Kelly so you might want to read that one first.

  7. That last comment was from me. No idea why I wasn't logged in properly!

  8. Anna - Thanks for the tip - now that means I need to pick up two new books! :)