Ireland: Awakening by Edward Rutherfurd
Following the critically acclaimed success of "Dublin", this riveting sequel takes the story of Ireland from the 17th century onwards. "Ireland: Awakenings" picks up where the former left off - at the Reformation, and with it, the devastating arrival of Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell heralds the inauguration of two hundred years of Protestant dominance, throughout which many of the Irish people were impoverished and dispossessed. Dublin is made a Protestant capital, and Catholics become an underclass. Set against the dramatic backdrop of Irish political history, the novel revisits family dynasties such as the Walshes and the Doyles, whose epic voyages through the centuries continue right the way up to the twentieth century's Easter Rising and Independence, passing through turbulent milestones such as The Year of the French and The Independence Movement of Parnell along the way. But literature does not entirely give way to history; the encroaching of the Celtic Dawn and the timeless worlds of W.B. Yeats and James Joyce are also paid rich tribute to, and bring this powerful saga to its conclusion.