TBR reviewer: Cathy
It was an excellently conceived story set in the early 1900s in the harsh Irish wilderness. A young, honest, hardworking farmer's son, Finn, finds a little more than a fistful of mud when he slips and falls during inclement weather whilst tending his sheep – a curious little bead with strange markings. An encounter with a prominent professor of archaeology during a dig in a nearby town triggers a chain of events which entails ruthless greed, ambition, deceit and murder. This little bead, it seems, is the key to a much greater and significant ancestral history buried beneath the land owned by Finn and his father. Unscrupulous characters seeking fame and fortune underestimate the intelligence and quick-wittedness of those they perceive as simple, illiterate farmers. Greed has its price.
I can in all honesty say that this book was for the most part well-written. You could feel the hardship and simplicity of the farmers' lives, but the acceptance of their lot was almost endearing, no words of complaint ever left their lips. There was a smile-raising cosines about the warmth of the family and their support of each other. The growing relationship of Finn and the innkeeper's daughter who was teaching him to read was heart-warming. The pompous professor's and his devious assistants‘ villainous intents were well crafted. Clearly, a tremendous amount of background research of Irish heritage was carried out and it was well translated into the plot of this book.
All that was good about this book was shattered by the countless errors: bad punctuation
(lack of commas, full-stops), inadvertent and inconsistent use of capitals, poor dialogue punctuation (missing quotation marks), the ubiquitous its instead of it's, lack of attention to continuity, POV and so many more. I will always finish a book, no matter how bad it is. This wasn’t a bad book, but the jarring poor quality of editing nearly presented me with a first. I'm angry and frustrated. I so want to be able to give this book more stars, but it was let down in a big, big way by presentation. I almost thought I was reading a draft copy. This edition was clearly one that the author had put the final word to and decided that no read-through or edit was required. Harsh words, but poorly edited work is not well-received or tolerated, certainly not by this reviewer!
This book deserves to do well: the author has an engaging style, the essence of Ireland is very evident, the plot is original and compelling; but until it has been through a much more detailed editorial process, success will elude it.