Legacy of Hunger (Druid's Brooch Series #1)


Valentina McDowell is the daughter of a wealthy American landowner, who embarks on a journey to Ireland to locate her grandmother’s missing brooch. Even before she reaches Ireland, she experiences a tragedy on her journey.  She also has to deal with the prejudice of being a woman with strong convictions, and even more damning, being an unchaperoned woman one coming from America. What follows next is Valentina’s coming of age away from her family’s support.


Clearly the author has done an immense amount of research about the Irish famine and how the people had to survive under the yoke of those who lorded it over them. There is a hint of unrequited love for Valentina as well and the author did well to make it poignant and sweet. Anyone who has experienced a love they cannot have can relate to this. The research, however, which is the backbone of the novel, tends to overwhelm the story and at times read more like an historical paper than fiction. Ms. Nicholas does use the information as part of the dialogue, though it would be less tedious to read if there was more interaction among the characters in the scene. What is also noticeable is that there does not appear to be a difference in the voice of the character and the voice of the narrator, making one think that this would have read better had it been in the first person point of view.


Nevertheless, as this is the first of the series of novels, it is hoped that the author’s writing style will develop to create a more engaging sequel. 


M.P. Ceja