Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Crows of Beara - Julie Christine Johnson

The Crows of Beara
Title: The Crows of Beara
Author: Julie Christine Johnson
Publication Date: 9/1/2017
Pages: 300
How I Found It: TLC Book Tours graciously provided me with a copy to review.
Date Completed: 12/23/17

Summary: Annie's life is falling apart. She's an alcoholic fresh out of rehab, trying to reconcile with the consequences of her previous life. With her marriage in shambles and her job hanging by a thread, she heads to Ireland to manage a big account. There, she finds herself fighting old and new demons and trying to discover her new self while juggling old responsibilities. 

What I Thought: I have gotten away from book tours in the past couple years. I always have a few scattered throughout the year, but I don't do nearly as many as I did when I started blogging. This book was a reminder to me of the joy of book tours. They introduce you to things you would never read otherwise, books that are often outside of comfortable genres. 

I found this one to be just that - a diversion from my normal reading habits. This book felt different from what I normally read in a lot of ways, but I really enjoyed it. It has a dash of magical realism, but nothing so off-putting that non-fantasy readers wouldn't still enjoy it. 

There were certainly some cliché elements to the plot. It was fairly easily predictable, but that wasn't a bad thing. I appreciated that Johnson made Annie an alcoholic, along with several other key characters. It added a nice dimension to the story that isn't often found in other works along these lines. Having alcoholics at various stages of recovery throughout the story gave a well-rounded view of what the struggle looks like for many people. I also appreciated that Annie's recovery was not a smooth journey, but one with realistic highs and lows. 

Julie Christine Johnson
The plot hinges largely around environmental issues. Annie's comes to Ireland as a PR rep for a mining company intent on extracting copper from the local landscape. The residents in the small Irish town are vehemently opposed. How can guess how this ends, but Johnson handled Annie's wrestling with her position in the debate well. 

Overall, this was a nice book to read over Christmas break. It didn't blow me away, but it exceeded my expectations. It was more character study than I expected and you know how I love that. If you're a fan of Irish culture, environmental issues, or flawed characters, then this would be a great book for you.

*To read other bloggers' on The Crows of Beara, check out the full tour schedule.*

Rating: ★★★☆☆
Will I Re-Read: Probably not

A Reduced Review: The beauty of the Irish coast seeps off the pages as a nice contrast to the flawed, complex characters walking its paths. 

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