Daughter Of Ireland
by Sonja Massie, contemporary (2000)
Jove (Irish Eyes), $5.99, ISBN 0-515-12835-X

Let's run a small test. This a sample of an exchange between heroine Moya Mahoney and hero Rory O'Brien:

"Um, yes, I suppose New York City is quite grand. But I prefer the peace and quiet of our part of the world."

Rory gave her a long, searching look. "Have you ever been there?"

"No," she admitted reluctantly.

"Then how can you be sure which you prefer?"

"Look about you," she said. "Do you have lush green fields that have fed the blood of Irish heroes throughout the centuries? Can you see the castle ruins of your ancestors from your back window, or a fairy fort where people lived at the dawn of time?"

If the heroine's passionate speech makes you say, "Go, girlfriend!" by all means grab this book. Me, I want to run to the hills. Daughter Of Ireland is a really bad, not-too-subtle tourist-brochure-cum-amateur-culture-revivalist-pamphlet masquerading as a romance novel. I'm not Irish, but I want to gag at the overdone too-thick corny sweetness about everything Irish vs the Evil, Modern World Outside Ye Irish Paradise. I wonder if Irish readers would roll up their eyes in disgust.

The plot is supposed to be our patriotic Moya losing her precious guardian, Uncle Angus. Uncle Angus ran an old-fashioned run-down inn called the Lios na Daoine Sidhe, and Moya looks forward to continuing the legacy and tradition of pure Irish culture. To her disgust and dismay, Angus left the inn to his nephew Rory. Rory is a displaced Irish wealthy bloke now in America.

He flies back to Ireland and complain about the weather and everything. He wants to build a factory. But we all know how evil modern things like dirty factories are, right? Can Moya save Rory from a life of disgusting capitalism? Can Moya show Rory how meaningless and aimless life is in the rat race? Will my nose be damaged from so much snorting in derision?

Enjoy the Pure Irish life, my fellow brothers and sisters! A village in modern day life that still has faerie stones. Moya still talks to faeries, and cries and prays to them as well as God to keep Ireland pure from Industry and Materialism. Life in Kerry village is peaceful and bliss. People never seem to work, walking around exchanging gossips and laughing like one big family. And they all spend the evenings listening to O Noble Moya tell stories of heroes of yore.

Forget that Rory is rich and hence can afford to let Moya indulge in her glib, amateurish All industry pollutes and all modern amenities are evil to our culture speech. Forget that Rory and Moya are blander than bland, or that the cops should run a breathalyzer test on Moya because she acts as if she's high on some illegal powder most of the time. Waifish heroine with tears always at hand, a one-dimensional Modern Man to be redeemed back to the true path of Tradition and Heritage (but hey, he can keep his millions, of course, to indulge wifey), where money doesn't matter and people just enjoy life as if they are in an alternate dimension... isn't life in Ireland good or what?

You can be assured if this Ireland is real, I refuse to set foot there until they set up a Burger King. Moya can go eat her carrots for all I care.

It is so easy to preach nonsense, when, of course, your hubby-to-be is rich, Moya. Now get lost and leave me to my hoarding of materialistic wealth and my capitalist greed.

Rating: 36

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