A Letter from America by Geraldine O’Neill


This book was a Kindle deal so I went ahead and bought it.  I had not heard of this author before but the premise of the story interested me.  I do like armchair traveling to Ireland.

The setting is 1968 in Tullamore Ireland with occasional chapters taking us to Dublin.  We meet the Tracey family who own a pub and grocery store.  The daughters have different goals in life and we get to meet each one.  The youngest girl, Bridget, is training to be a nun and lives at a Catholic school for women who want the same vocation.

Angela Tracey is the middle daughter and lives in Dublin.  She is very independent and loves her life in the city.  Angela doesn’t feel close to her family as she was striken with polio as a young girl and pretty much grew up in a hospital in Dublin. She had visitors from family with the exception of her mother.  Whaaat?  All is revealed later about that situation.  I very much liked Angela’s character.

Fiona Tracey is the oldest and much of the story focuses on her life and interactions with family.  The title Letter from America refers to her weekly correspondence with her good friend Elizabeth.  Her friend now lives in New York City and has managed to hook Fiona up with a job.  The plans are set, Fiona is excited but a family tragedy changes her plans and she has to postpone the trip.  (This is in the book jacket so no spoilers)

There is a secret and animosity between Fiona’s mother and her Aunt Catherine which is brought up fairly frequently as they argue or give the cold shoulder. The daughters don’t know what it’s about but it is finally revealed close to the end. This book is classifed as historial Irish fiction but there a bit more romance than I expected, though not enough to classify it in that genre.

For a light read I would look for more by this author. There was quite a bit of food and drink mentioned in the story.

Homemade Shepherds pie, chicken salad, cooked ham and fried potatoes, cold ham and brown bread, lamb chops, boiled potatoes and peas.

Cod with parsley sauce, floury potatoes and vegetables, Chicken with Dauphinois potatoes and broccoli, hot Apple tart with custard, trifle , lemon meringue pie.

Banycham, Tullamore Dew, pints of lager , Sherry and white wine.

The mention of fried potatoes had me craving them so, I saved some of the roasted potatoes from a previous chicken dinner, sliced them and fried them up.  They made an excellent accompaniment to last evenings dinner.


For more about Geraldine O’Neill check out her webpage HERE.

Sharing with Joy for British Isles Friday


8 thoughts on “A Letter from America by Geraldine O’Neill

    • That’s how I am traveling lately, JoAnn, and I am fine with that. I can’t wait for us to get the RV back so we might be able to get to a campground. That’s all self contained, all our own food and bedding.


  1. Sometimes those Kindle deals are great, sometimes just mediocre. I just read a great one, Time After Time. Definitely classify it as a romance but with a scifi mystical twist. That is the best for fried potatoes!!


    • Time after Time – is it time travel? I like that. Agreed, sometimes you get a good deal and other times the book is a bust. I did like this one though.


    • I am traveling to cooler climates right now, via the books. We’ve been to Ireland twice and loved it, considering the political climate and actual weather here I Wish I were hunkered down in Ireland!


  2. Pingback: Stirling Castle #VirtualTravel #BriFri – Joy's Book Blog

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