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The Pipes Are Calling
Single mother Maggie Carroll longs to go to Ireland, but two young daughters and financial troubles take precedence until she enters a contest on the internet that leads her closer to her dreams than she ever imagined. Irishman Galen Devlin, working the tourism trade in post-9/11 New York City, is a lonely bachelor longing for love. Both have a distant shared past that includes Thomas Terrance O’Toole, a modern-day leprechaun with matchmaking on his mind. The Irish ballad “Danny Boy” often brings tears to the eyes of those longing for home.
The Pipes Are Calling is a tale of the present day Maggie Carroll and Galen Devlin, born over three thousand miles apart but sharing a bond that will bring them closer than either thought possible. Their discovery of each other parallels that of Danny Carroll and Brigid Devlin, two young lovers from the famine stricken Donegal region of Ireland, who find themselves torn apart in the turbulent days of the mid-1800’s. And linking the two couples across time and space is Thomas Terrance O’Toole, a transatlantic leprechaun, who is charged with the task of righting a wrong that impacted all four.
Join Maggie and Galen in The Pipes Are Calling, as they share a homeward journey that includes the true saga of the Molly Maguires, a 19th-century group of impoverished Irish immigrants struggling for labor rights against the rough backdrop of the Pennsylvania hard coal industry. And listen…the bittersweet strains of the pipes may be calling you.
"The Pipes Are Calling" is a romantic historical fantasy. Like a Celtic knot, the tale is seemlessly woven and interlaced with love, murder, intrigue, a smattering of whimsey and a tall shot of Irish-American romanticism. The present and past - and a wee glimpse of the future, come together in a story that spans one hundred and forty years and the wide Atlantic Ocean. As its characters tell their story, you'll hear the distant strains of the haunting and beloved tune "Danny Boy".
The modern day story of Maggie and Galen is set in post-911 America. Maggie Carroll is a single American mother of Irish extraction who longs for her roots in the Auld Sod. Galen Devlin, an Irishman living and working in New York, has begun to have second thoughts about his bachelor lifestyle. A contest to win a trip to Ireland manages to bring the two together in a series of mishaps and meanderings that will have the reader smiling and wondering what happens next.
Danny Carroll and Brigid Devlin’s romance is set against the turbulence of the Irish famine and the mournful saga of the Molly Maguires that occurred in the Anthracite coal regions of rural Pennsylvania. The Donegal region of Ireland was one of the hardest hit by the famine. Many of Ireland's poor emigrated to “Amerikay”, by choice or by force- settling in the coal regions. They became part of the mining community, the industry plagued with violence, greed and bigotry.
Danny Carroll was one of those immigrants who had no choice in the matter. He soon realizes that whether a rebel fighting the English in his homeland or a miner fighting for labor rights in America, he cannot escape the desire for freedom.
“The Pipes Are Calling” is a story of contrasts. Hope versus despair, love versus hate, wrong versus right. It is a living history lesson, disguised within a fictional tale. The story brings to light the travesty of justice that occurred in the "civilized" East when twenty-one poor miners of Irish birth or descent were hung following a series of criminal trials later dubbed a mockery of the American judicial system.
The novel also tells the true but little known story of the O’Donnell murders, a sad testimony to the outcome of bigotry and hatred that can occur when some in a society have too much and others too little.
Nonetheless, time has a way of healing all things and the story, despite its twists and turns, portrays that message. It is a modern day fairy tale, complete with a modern day fairy. It will appeal to all of Irish or Irish American descent, as well as those craving a good romance.
“The Pipes are Calling” will bring a smile to your heart and a tear to your eye. It will warm you, then chill you - then warm you again. Most of all, it will remind you that bigotry and discrimination exist but there is hope if even one open heart has the desire to make things better.
"Mayhaps what you seek you shall find if you seek with open heart and mind"
"Beautifully told story enriched with history, myths and a touch of magic"
Brigid and Daniel love each other, but Tommy O'Toole, a meddlesome leprechaun causes the two to be forever divided. It was 1873, when Daniel was arrested as a rebel and deported to America.
Daniel's troubles take him to Pennsylvania Coal Company and the Molly Maguires. Brigid is left behind in Ireland, where loneliness and starvation are constant companions.
Tommy O'Toole is banished from his world until he can redeem himself. In the twenty-first century, he finds that possibility with Maggie and Galen.
Maggie Carroll's dreams are like a siren's call to Ireland. On a whim, she enters a contest to win a trip to the Emerald Island, never visualizing that she would end up being one of the top contestants. As much as it pains her to do so, she must turn down the offer for she has two young children that need her at home. She can't in good conscious go chasing after her dreams, but Galen Devlin will not take no for an answer.
Galen Devlin works for Traveling Tour Company. To encourage people to take their tours to Ireland, he starts a promotion where a person is to describe in a brief paragraph the reason for the `pipes' calling them back home to the Emerald Island. Galen reads Maggie's explanation and is charmed. Now all he has to do is persuade the stubborn woman to come to New York by St. Patrick's Day, where the final contestant will be chosen.
With a little bit of glamour from Tommy O'Toole, the stories are told. True love is forever and some dreams do come true.
Ms. Murphy has taken two stories: one, an Irish tale of star-crossed lovers; another of destined soul mates, and intertwined them into this beautifully told story enriched with history, myths and a touch of magic. She truly is a gifted Seanachaí (storyteller).
Courtesy: Karen Michelle Nutt, Author
Reviewed by Karen Michelle Nutt
Posted March 9, 2007
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