Erryn reviews Hearts in Ireland (World of Love) by J.C. Long, narrated by John Steinkamp, ebook Published May 10th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press, 119 pages; audiobook 3 hrs and 45 mins, published June 25, 2018. A complimentary copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this: I was looking for something different and have a strong Irish heritage, so decided on the adventure.
To read Melissa’s review of the book, click here.
When the future is shrouded and it’s hard to find direction, maybe it’s time to let the heart lead the way….
Ronan Walker stands at a crossroads, unsure how to pursue his education… unsure if he even wants to. Now that his mother is gone, all he has left are the wonderful stories of her youth in Ireland, and he’s drawn to the land of his ancestors. There, he seeks out his mother’s family and meets Fergal Walsh, who works at Ronan’s aunt’s bookstore. A love of literature facilitates a fast friendship between the two men, and even though Ronan cannot deny the potential—and his desire—for more, he cannot see a future for the two of them when he leaves Ireland. Fergal must persuade Ronan to give school in Dublin a chance—and convince Ronan that his heart has already found its home.
World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.
***Check out the giveaway at the bottom of this review for a chance to win one of several prizes***
This audiobook had me sniffling within the first couple of minutes and the first few chapters were painful. Losing a loved one is tough and Ronan having to deal with his mother’s passing pulled at my heart strings. The good news is although her death affects Ronan, the story becomes more upbeat, especially when he heads over to Ireland to meet his relatives. His aunt Gwendolyn welcomes him, and his cousin Hannah is thrilled, but it’s Fergal who shows the most interest in this American visitor.
This book is a slow burn as the men get to know each other, Fergal playing tour guide, enjoying Ronan’s awe at discovering the history of Ireland. I have to admit, I was a little jealous. Ronan has a good time on his trip and definitely connects with his mother’s roots, but the lack of direction in his life is a challenge. He’s offered a path in Ireland, but he’s scared to take it.
“Isn’t love about sacrifice?”
“Nothing can grow in a garden if you don’t remove the old.”
Wise sentiments Ronan needs to hear at the crossroads. And this is a happy story with a happy ending, which I loved. In fact, I was tempted to book a trip to Ireland to meet my own family.
“Home isn’t always where you started – sometimes it’s where you end up.”
Ronan’s dad says these words to him and truer words were never spoken.
I have listened to John Steinkamp narrate other books and I enjoy his work. His Irish accent works and the performance is enjoyable.
9/10 Pots of Gold – Compares to 4.5/5 Stars
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J. C. Long is an American expat living in Japan, though he’s also lived stints in Seoul, South Korea—no, he’s not an Army brat; he’s an English teacher. He is also quite passionate about Welsh corgis and is convinced that anyone who does not like them is evil incarnate. His dramatic streak comes from his lifelong involvement in theater. After living in several countries aside from the United States, J. C. is convinced that love is love, no matter where you are, and is determined to write stories that demonstrate exactly that.
His favorite things in the world are pictures of corgis, writing, and Korean food (not in that order… okay, in that order). J. C. spends his time not writing thinking about writing, coming up with new characters, attending Big Bang concerts, and wishing he were writing. The best way to get him to write faster is to motivate him with corgi pictures. Yes, that is a veiled hint.