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The Walking People

by Mary Beth Keane

The Walking People by Mary Beth Keane X
The Walking People by Mary Beth Keane
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  • First Published:
    May 2009, 416 pages
    May 2010, 416 pages

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An Interesting Tale of Irish Immigrants
As one of Irish heritage, I was drawn to The Walking People by Mary Beth Keane. The author pulls the reader into the world of Irish immigrants Michael and Greta Ward, telling us their story first as country people living in a remote Irish town.

The story gains steam when Greta, her sister Johanna, and their friend Michael move to America as teens. Keane realistically portrays the desire and difficulties of the immigrants to assimilate and succeed in a different culture. Her description of life in New York City in the 1960's intrigued me.

The section composed of letters Greta sent back home to Ireland is especially appealing, giving the reader more of an immediate understanding of the characters. Greta is a memorable, well-drawn fictional character.

The last half of the book held my attention more, and I raced through to the conclusion. Fans of Alice McDermott, and anyone who came from Irish immigrants, will enjoy this debut novel.
Jeanne Murrell

Beginning, Middle, End
The author captures the imagination in her vivid description of Ireland and the lives of the people left behind. The part dealing with letters is very interesting but at the end, the book simply lies down and dies. A book needs a beginning, a middle and an end. the author neglected to end it.
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