In the summer of 1922, Robert Shannon, a young American hero of the Great War, lands in Ireland. A Marine chaplain, he was present at the frightful Battle of Belleau Wood, and he still suffers from shell shock. His mentor hopes that a journey Robert had always wanted to make–to find his family roots–will restore his equilibrium and his vocation. Unbeknownst to Robert, a safety net has been spread beneath him: All along the banks of the river that bears his family name, a chain of support has been put into place–to guide him, nurture him, and protect him. But there is more to the story: On his return from the war, Robert Shannon witnessed startling and lethal corruption in the Archdiocese of Boston. As a consequence, he has also been sent to Ireland to secure his silence–permanently.
At dawn one morning, Robert steps ashore from a freighter in the river’s estuary and is thrust headlong into the maelstrom of Irish politics, with the country now roiling from the civil war that followed the 1921 Treaty with Britain. While Robert faces the dangers of a strife-torn nation and is pursued by the venom of true evil, Ireland’s myths and people, its beliefs and traditions, its humor and wit, unfurl healingly before his feet every step of the way. And the River Shannon, her beauty, her legends, and her lore, give comfort to the young man, who is inspired by the words of his mentor: “Find your soul and you’ll live.”
Driven by his eloquent passion for his country and its spirit, Frank Delaney, the acclaimed author of Ireland and Tipperary, returns once more to his home terrain with a beautifully written, meticulously researched, and expertly paced novel. Shannon is a timeless and unforgettable account of salvation, belief, duty–and the healing power of discovering one’s roots. In these pages, faith, commitment, the benign quirks of Irish myth, and the menace of Irish history all coalesce into an epic narrative of one young American’s travels to his family’s beginning and through a hopeful nation rushing to the future.
The newspaper The Columbia Missourian" covered the "Story of Your Life" twitter challenge, featuring Steven Wise, winner of the twallenge, as Frank calls it. Wise shares some interesting insights on taking part in the challenge, saying that even though it appeared impossible to him to sum up a life of experiences in a couple sentences or even a book, "it was an exercise and it grabbed me, and I wanted to give it a go." Read more and see the winning tweet here..
Starred Review from Publisher's Weekly
"The riveting final installment of Delaney's Ben McCarthy trilogy. Long-time fans will relish its conclusion, while new readers will quickly warm to Delaney's vividly described Ireland of the 1950s, its fully-realized inhabitants, and the dynamic political and personal relationships that make for a remarkable story. (Feb.)"
One of Frank Delaney's most endearing new projects, a series of short stories produced as e-books called, "Storytellers," began as a means of introducing his novel "The Last Storyteller," in which the character of an itinerant Irish Seanchai is central to the plot.