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Irish Stew!: A Nuala Anne McGrail Novel    by Andrew Greeley order for
Irish Stew!
by Andrew Greeley
Order:  USA  Can
Forge, 2003 (2002)
Hardcover, Paperback

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

With Irish Stew!, Father Andrew Greeley continues his saga of Nuala Anne McGrail and her extremely supportive husband, Dermot Coyne. It begins with the premature birth of their third child Socra Marie. The novel follows the progress of this child, with all the peaks and valleys of a preemie's life. But the two main events of Irish Stew! are the Haymarket Riot in Chicago over a hundred years ago and the modern day non-fatal shooting of a brash, loudmouth entrepreneur whom Dermot and Nuala Anne feel obliged to help since Nuala Anne can see the mark of death upon him.

Nuala Anne is from the West Coast of Ireland and retains the flavor of that beautiful area in her speech. It is fun for a while, but gets redundant after the first few chapters. However, that does not diminish the pleasure of a good read. Fey Nuala Anne's ability to see things others don't extends to her older daughter Mary Anne and this leads to some delightful, although eerie, scenes. The family pets Fiona and Maeveen (white Irish wolfhounds) play a role in the scheme of things.

Somehow, Father Greeley manages to tie the two main events of the book together with his knack for extremely good storytelling. I always reach for a new offering of his with a smile on my face, knowing I am in for a good read. He did not let me down in Irish Stew!

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