Sunday, March 16, 2014

Top of the Mornin' to Ya

On March 17th, the world turns green and everyone becomes Irish in celebration of St Patrick's Day. I have a drop or two of Irish blood in my ancestry and have a whole bunch of cousins currently living in Ireland so my connection to the Emerald Isle is a strong one.

In celebration of all things green, I'd like to talk about some Irish books.

One of the first books that comes to mind when I think about Ireland is Frank McCourt's smash-hit Angela's Ashes followed closely by Dubliners by James Joyce. These are arguably quintessential Irish stories, replete with a black, self-deprecating sense of humour and bleak circumstances involving poverty, politics and religion. One of my favourite Irish stories I saw as a movie first, not least of all because a young Jared Leto was the star.

Based on the book, Last the High Kings by Ferdie MacAnna, this was quite possibly my first foray in Irish YA literature that didn't involve faeries and magic. Although I appreciate a good Irish drama, particularly those exploring the often bloody and messy history of the country, stories like The Wind that Shakes the Barley and Michael Collins aren't the Irish stories that capture my imagination and make me yearn for another visit to that island steeped in mysticism.

As a kid, I was enamoured with all things Celtic, particularly the Irish-Celtic mythology such as the tales of CĂș Chulainn and the Morrighan. I grew up reading Celtic fantasy by the likes of Juliet Marillier, Stephen Lawhead and Caiseal Mor, infatuated with all things druid and fey. This is the Ireland I love, the ancient land shrouded in magic with doorways to the Otherworld marked by fairy rings. Here are just a few of these books, old and new and not all specifically YA, that capture the spirit of mythological Ireland between their pages:

Tomorrow, I'll be wearing green and celebrating St Patrick's Day by curling up with a good Irish book.

How about you? Which are your favourite Irish or Ireland-set novels?

Darkly Delicious YA is currently running a huge giveaway as part of St Patrick Day's celebrations and you can enter any of the many options in the Rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

  1. How fun Suzanne--I wish I had seen this in time for St. Patrick's Day! I recently discovered through a DNA test that I'm 20% Irish, so now I'm getting all sorts of fascinated by the Irish culture (and I finally have an awesome excuse for my 'hot temper'). :-D

    "Bridger" is drawing me in with its beautiful cover.