The Transatlantic Book Club

Harper Perennial. Nov. 2020. 384p. ISBN 9780063037397. $26.99; pap. ISBN 9780062889508. $15.99. F
In Hayes-McCoy’s latest “Finfarran Peninsula” series (after The Mistletoe Matchmaker), Lissbeg and Resolve, the author’s stand-ins for Clonmel in Ireland and Peoria, IL, are towns with a long-standing connection. In Lissbeg’s less gentrified past, its emigrants largely went to Resolve, a town in upstate New York whose Irish life centers on the Shamrock Club, where misty-eyed visions of the old country are alive and well. The book club, whose members meet by Skype at Resolve’s Shamrock Club and at Lissbeg’s library, is the brainchild of Cassie Fitzgerald, a young woman who has come from Toronto to visit her Lissbeg grandmother, Pat, who is recently widowed and struggling to recover. These two women’s lives—present-day loves and dilemmas for Cassie; flashbacks, regrets, and current friendship and family woes for Pat—form a story that spans generations and will keep readers cheering for the women as they find their feet. The many female characters can get muddling to start with, but readers who stick with this will be rewarded with an intriguing tale of getting over life’s obstacles and a realistic look at modern rural Ireland.
VERDICT Recommend this enjoyable family story to fans of the late Maeve Binchy.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing