Reading guide for Ireland by Frank Delaney

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Ireland

A Novel

by Frank Delaney

Ireland by Frank Delaney
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Feb 2005, 576 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2006, 672 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

Introduction

One evening in 1951, an itinerant storyteller -- a Seanchai, the very last practitioner of a tradition extending back hundreds and hundreds of years -- arrives unannounced at a house in the Irish countryside for an evening of storytelling. One of his listeners, a nine-year-old boy, grows so entranced by the storytelling that, when the old man leaves abruptly under mysterious circumstances, the boy devotes himself to finding him again.

Storyteller extraordinaire Frank Delaney takes his readers on an epic journey through the history of Ireland, stopping along the way to evoke the dramatic events and personalities so critical to shaping the Irish experience. This is the true story of Ireland and the Irish -- of how the character of the land and its people were shaped by history, by neighboring England and by the Irish themselves-written by a native son possessed of his own prodigious storytelling gifts.



Questions for Discussion
  1. Is the storyteller a phenomenon unique to Ireland?
     
  2. Why is Ronan enthralled before the storyteller even begins to speak? Can you imagine why Alison is so repelled?
     
  3. There's nothing quite like Newgrange in the US -- or is there? What do public monuments represent in the United States? Were they built in anything like the same way?
     
  4. Why is Ronan so much more interested in history than girls? What is it about the Storyteller that has made such a deep impression?
     
  5. The Storyteller has a very specific method for reaching his audience. Is his method similar to that of an actor or a writer?
     
  6. The Penal Laws made it very difficult for Catholics to become educated. How is a culture that is forcibly denied the growth and insight available through education and learning able to keep itself vitally alive?
     
  7. In following the Storyteller for so many years, has Ronan, in fact, become a Storyteller himself?
     
  8. Between the Norman-Irish and the Anglo-Irish, it seems difficult to define, who, really is "Irish." Is this similar to how "American" identity is formed?
     
  9. How would have Ronan's life been different if he knew his family's great secret all along?
     
  10. The book is called Ireland. To what extent is the country itself a character in the novel?

Reproduced with the permission of the publisher, Harper Collins. Page numbers refer to the USA hardcover edition and may vary in the other editions.

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of HarperCollins Publishers. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Ninth Hour
    The Ninth Hour
    by Alice McDermott
    In a pivotal scene in The Ninth Hour, young Sally encounters an increasingly loathsome series of ...
  • Book Jacket: Rebellion
    Rebellion
    by Molly Patterson
    Rebellion overlays the stories of four women, spanning a century and the globe in their wide ...
  • Book Jacket: Genuine Fraud
    Genuine Fraud
    by E Lockhart
    Do we ever really know who our friends are? Or what the truth is? After all, truth, like beauty is ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

An eye-opening and riveting look at how how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Love and Other Consolation Prizes
    by Jamie Ford

    Inspired by a true story, about a boy whose life is transformed at Seattle's epic 1909 World's Fair.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Twelve-Mile Straight
    by Eleanor Henderson

    An audacious epic set in rural Georgia during the years of the Depression and Prohibition.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win If the Creek Don't Rise

If the Creek Don't Rise

A debut novel bursting with heart, honesty, and homegrown grit.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Y Can't M A S P O O A S E

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.