Jack Flynn, strong and aggressive but slowly dying of tuberculosis on his farm in Tipperary in the Republic of Ireland, decides to acquire–purchase–a young wife who can bear him sons to inherit his family’s land. His choice, Caitlin Spillane, is less than half his age, attractive and intelligent, and resents bitterly the obedience that is forced upon her.
When a young firebrand, a supporter of the IRA, arrives in the village, he and Caitlin are drawn together in their detestation of Flynn. Flynn, traumatized by his own insurgent IRA experiences twenty years earlier, is secretly convinced that Eamonn de Valera’s more diplomatic, peaceful approach to Ireland’s problems is the only sane one.
Could Caitlin be won for the cause, and leave her unloved husband?
A novel set against the struggle for the heart of Ireland in the Second World War, when the IRA notoriously sought assistance from the Nazis, Only with Blood explores flawed characters placed in extraordinary situations.
I don’t know if I have ever read a book that I was so back and forth about. There were times I was very into the story and others times I wanted to just skip over parts.
Mostly I really enjoyed the part of the story about Caitlin and Jack.
Jack really had my heart. He really isn’t a bad guy but most people can’t see the good in him because they don’t know him. Caitlin included. I felt really sorry for Jack and wanted him to have a happy ending.
The history about Donal was a bit long for me. I had trouble connecting with that part of the story until it collided with Caitlin and Jack’s part of the story.
But at the end I sat back and said, “Wow.” Something Jack says at the end almost mad me cry. I can’t tell you what he said but once you get there you will be glad you read the whole book. Such a rich parallel we can draw to Jesus.
Also, totally loved that my last name shows up in the book and my daughter’s first name is used as a last name, O’Meara (but no “O” in her name).
Just a heads up, there is language in this book. I would say this is a loosely Christian book, so if you are offended by some words this might not be the book for you.
A copy of this book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.