In 1845 a blight of unknown origin destroyed the potato crop in Ireland triggering a series of events that would change forever the course of Ireland’s history. The British government called the famine an act of God. The Irish called it genocide. By any name the famine caused the death of over one million men, women, and children by starvation and disease. Another two million were forced to flee the country.
With the famine as a backdrop, this is a story about two families as different as coarse wool and fine silk. Michael Ranahan, the son of a tenant farmer, dreams of breaking his bondage to the land and going to America. The passage money has been saved. He’s made up his mind to go. And then—the blight strikes and Michael must put his dream on hold.
The landlord, Lord Somerville, is a compassionate man who struggles to preserve a way of life without compromising his ideals. To add to his troubles, he has to deal with a recalcitrant daughter who chafes at being forced to live in a country of “bog runners.”
In The Time Of Famine is a story of survival. It’s a story of duplicity. But most of all, it’s a story of love and sacrifice.
- Michael Grant, July 2011
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