A LONG WAY FROM TIPPERARY
John Dominic Crossan
The subtitle of this memoir, "What a former Irish monk discovered in his search for the truth," aptly summarizes its content. In it, the biblical scholar and former monk tells how his work as a pioneering expert on Jesus has led him from traditional Catholicism of his youth in Tipperary, Kildare and Donegal to a more complex, sophisticated faith. He describes the joys and challenges of growing up in Ireland and reveals how his life’s experiences, from Ireland to the U.S. to Rome and Isr’l, from monastery to university, and from priesthood to marriage, have shaped his understanding of God. HarperSanFrancisco (www.harpercollins.com/sanfran). 216 pp. $23.
The novelist was inspired by the experiences of her own family in both Ireland and the U.S. It’s 1934 and former Irish revolutionary Edward Devlin, recently widowed, leaves County Tyrone, and his 6-year-old daughter, Maura, for a new life in the U.S. In the Depression-era mill town of Paterson, N.J., he looks up the only person he knows, successful businessman John "Fitz" Fitzgibbon, whose wife, Sylvia, is intrigued by the new houseguest. From Plume (www.penguinputnam.com). 294 pp. $13.
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PRAY FOR US SINNERS
The backdrop for this novel is Belfast in 1974. The main character is Lt. Marcus Richardson, who has one last assignment: infiltrate the IRA and identify its top men. However, as Richardson gets to know the killers he is meant to expose, he finds the conflict in Northern Ireland is not as clear-cut as it seems. Taylor grew up in Bangor, Co. Down, and after qualifying in medicine in 1964 and as a gynecologist in 1969, he immigrated to Canada. Insominiac Press (www.insomniacpress.com). Distributed in the U.S. by Seven Hills Book Distributors. 304 pp. $15.99.