Cover Image: Irish Eyes

Irish Eyes

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Member Reviews

Irish Eyes by Hope C. Tarr, the first book in The American Songbook series, is a mesmerizing historical saga that is intense, heartfelt, thought-provoking, and I highly recommend this spectacular book!

Tarr an amazing storyteller takes her readers and complex characters through some of the most intense life changing times in our history, spanning from 1898 to early 1920. Well researched actual events, vividly incorporated into this fictional story, shows off Tarr’s exceptional writing skills, bringing this story to life which helped me to totally connect with all of the characters and plot lines in this story, causing an emotional roller coaster from tears to elation.

Thank you to Lume Books and NetGalley for an ARC copy of Irish Eyes to read and review. This was one of the best books I read in 2023! All opinions in this review are my own and I was not obligated to write a favorable review.

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Irish Eyes by Hope C. Tarr is a historical fiction novel set at the turn of the century into the 1920's. The novel is the first in a series. We meet Rosie O'Neill in the Aran islands of Ireland who works in her families pub. Rosie's journey for love and life takes her to NYC during the Gilded Age. A series of tragic events and misfortune interrupts Rosie's life and takes her on paths she hadn't planned.
I enjoyed Rose's tenacity, resilience, and dedication to her roots. I can relate to the calling of "home" and moving with the ebbs and flow of fortune.
My favorite aspect was the setting and timeline and Rosie's strong will.
Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and author for the complimentary copy of the novel. It was a delightful book and I look forward to reading the next book in the series.

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A beautiful historical story. Very interesting and a great read. My thanks to netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.

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A romantic saga taking the reader from Ireland in the late 19th century to New York in the first quarter of the 20th century. Rose is the Irish lass beguiled by Adam - a young American destined to inherit a fortune. They fall deeply in love but their happiness takes a long time coming as they battle betrayal, tragedy and ill fortune.
A simple tale, well told and quietly engaging.

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A wonderful novel of love and family. Nothing like stories of a good Irish girl and A. trip to New York . The best of love found and lost. Playing out against New York in the beginning of the 1900’s. I loved this book.

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For the most part, this is a very interesting story. There were some areas I lost interest but then it would pick up again. I have an Irish ancestry so this drew me to this book. I recommend it if you like me like historical romance.

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I really liked this book, it was different than anything else I've read which was a breath of fresh air. I will be recommending this to my friends, and auto buy this author!

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A wonderful story of lost love.

Rose lives in Ireland with her Father and brothers. She learns of her other brother’s death who is fighting. Adam is her brother’s best friend from the Army he arrives to bring his belongings back to his family. We then see Rose and Adam falling in love. Rose ends up following Adam to New York but things don’t go as planned.

The book was really interesting spanning many years seeing how things that might work out. The characters worked well together and fitted well.

Would recommend this book.

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Rose's life in the Aran Islands, Ireland is fairly idyllic until one day they get a notice that her brother was killed in action fighting another country's war. His best friend, Adam, came to visit and bring his belongings back to the family and captured the heart of the family, and Rose. While making a home for himself in Ireland, his father's illness requires Adam to travel back home to New York City with the promise to send for Rose soon. Rose finds her way to NYC despite Adam's mother thwarting their relationship and conspiring to match him with the debutant that he was told to marry. Adam and Rose's stories divide, then come back to each other and divide in this epic story, spanning 25 years between a New York Socialite and a hardworking Irish girl surviving in New York City during Tammany Hall era politics, WWI, the Spanish Flu pandemic, and other world events.

#arc
#netgalley
#IrishEyes

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Hope C. Tarr's "Irish Eyes" takes readers on a captivating journey from the breathtaking landscapes of the Aran Islands in 1898 to the bustling streets of New York City. Eighteen-year-old Rose O’Neill embarks on a life-altering journey, leaving behind her homeland and setting sail for New York with dreams of a promising future alongside Adam, an American soldier pledged to marry her.

However, upon her arrival at New York Harbor, Rose's world collapses as she finds herself abandoned, pregnant, and utterly alone. Despite these daunting circumstances, her resilience and determination shine through as she secures a job at a prestigious New York hotel, gradually carving out a new path for herself and her unborn child.

Tragedy strikes when a devastating fire razes the hotel, obliterating all Rose has painstakingly built. Yet, amidst the ashes, she encounters Joe Kavanaugh, a fireman whose unwavering devotion seeks to mend her shattered heart. Together, Rose and Joe navigate the streets of the Lower East Side, crafting a family and business that transcend the barriers of hardship.

Tarr masterfully weaves a tale of perseverance, resilience, and love, portraying Rose's journey from adversity to triumph. From the struggling neighborhoods to the opulence of New York's elite department stores, the story encompasses the highs and lows of Rose's life, presenting a compelling narrative that spans through the Great War and into the extravagant Roaring Twenties.

The author expertly captures the essence of an era marked by turmoil and transformation, vividly depicting the historical backdrop while interweaving the complexities of Rose's personal struggles, sacrifices, and aspirations. Rose's evolution from destitution to prosperity forms the backbone of this emotionally charged saga, resonating with readers through its poignant portrayal of loss, resilience, and the pursuit of happiness.

"Irish Eyes" is a mesmerizing historical saga that offers a window into a bygone era, encompassing themes of love, loss, and the indomitable human spirit. For enthusiasts of historical fiction, especially those drawn to tales of strong-willed protagonists navigating tumultuous times, Tarr's novel is a captivating and emotionally resonant read that transcends generations. This poignant narrative celebrates the resilience of the human heart amid the ever-shifting tides of fate, making it a must-read for fans of authors such as Fiona Valpy, Kristen Hannah, and Colleen McCullough.

Thanks to Netgalley for an advance copy for my honest review.

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This is the story of Rose O’Neil life told through her “Irish Eyes” from the years 1899-1922.

Rose resides in the Aran Islands in Ireland and the story begins when her brother Donal’s friend Adam Blakey comes to tell her that her brother was killed in the Spanish-American War. There was an instant attraction between them and fell in love.
There is an unfortunate situation where Adam needs to rush back home to New York to see his ailing father. Both Adam and Rose pledge their love for each other and plan to marry. Adam would send for Rose to travel to New York so they can become husband and wife.
Rose decides to take the trip to New York on her own because she is pregnant with Adam’s child. So Rose’s journey and new life begins in America.

Rose’s new home in New York brings heartbreak and happiness during the time span of twenty five years. Will Rose finally be happy with her life?

I really enjoyed all of the Historical events referred in the book during the early Twentieth Century. There were times when the story became predictable but nonetheless, it was a great read.

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I am sorry to say I dnfed this book at 32%. . It became too slow for me , with a plot that was for me too predictable. Thank you to netgalley for letting me read this e arc in exchange for an honest opinion

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I enjoyed this book, interesting subject and likeable characters, the front cover co insides with the story.. I look forward to reading more books by this Author.

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This historical saga follows Rose’s story from the West of Ireland to the East Coast of America. The beginning of her tale is a common one, a young girls swept up in a love story finds herself pregnant and travelling to find who she believes is the love of her life. This starts as a love story but develops into a historical novel of depth. A rags to riches story which has been well researched.
An enjoyable read.

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I could not finish it I felt it played to much on old Ireland and the Irish in America. It had a similar vibe to that of Brooklyn.

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Ah, love found, lost, and found again. This is the premises of Irish Eyes by Hope C. Tarr. While we are immersed in the lives and romances of Rose, Adam, and Joe, we are also given a brief history of the country from 1898 through 1922. Loved the triangle these three characters engage in and found myself changing sides constantly. More enjoyable is the growth and strength of Rose. The ending is fantastic. Read this novel.

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Irish Eyes is a sweeping historical saga set at the beginning of the last century. The story is a familiar one. Poor Irish girl ruined by a visiting rich American then due to a series of missing letters she ends up in New York alone and pregnant whilst he has unwillingly married his family's choice of bride. Their story continues in this vein. I did find the book very slow and speed read through some areas due to the over wordy descriptions. I also found it very strange the way the author used Rose's voice to describe what was going on all the time, even during intimate scenes between Adam and his wife for example! It was obvious that a lot of research had been done to ensure the accuracy of the story and there was a good twist at the end. Overall a good solid 3 stars.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read an advance copy. All opinions are my own.

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Rose O’Neill never dreamed of leaving her beloved Aran Islands for anything further than Dublin, but when she meets Adam Blakely her deceased brother’s best friend from their time serving in the Spanish American war, everything changes. Adam arrives on Kilronan’s shore humbled by his experiences and determined to return Donal’s personal belongings to his family. What was intended to be a short stay becomes months, and Adam and Rose fall hard for each other. Only a telegram from America, with news of Adam’s father falling ill, will get him to leave Rose. With a promise of marriage and passage for her soon, he leaves to race to his father’s deathbed.

Soon after Rose feels ghosted and cannot ignore the life growing inside her. Feeling as though she has run out of options, Rose books her own passage in steerage to cross the pond and find her beloved in New York. Her arrival is not welcomed, and Rose ends up like many Irish immigrants living in tenements and working for pittance in an effort to make headway in town set against “her kind”. In fire fighter Joe Kavanaugh, she believes she has a better future despite still carrying a torch for Adam. Rose is pragmatic and does what needs to be done to not only survive, but also to get ahead despite the many many obstacles thrown in her path.

Rose’s story takes place during a time of great change and great historical figures. Going from the Spanish-American War, through WWI and the Spanish flu epidemic and into Prohibition and the Roaring Twenties, she serves witness to so many societal changes. The Tammany Hall machine that ran New York City at the turn of the century and Teddy Roosevelt’s presidency also serve as important background to Rose’s life.

Though labeled historical romance, this reads more like general historical fiction after the first few chapters, and Rose is one readers will want to root for. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this tale, especially after Rose makes it to the Lower East Side. It’s obvious the amount of research the author put into Irish Eyes, to make the reader feel immersed in turn of the century NYC.

Thank you to NetGalley, Joffee Books, and the author Hope C. Tarr for the advanced copy of the book. Irish Eyes is out on December 7th. All opinions are my own.

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An amazing saga that grips you from the very first page.
It follows the life of a young Irish girl who follows her true love from Ireland to America and although he is true to her his family and events take action to ensure they do not get married.
From then we follow their separate lives to see how their life events change and evolve them and although true in their love for each other will they ever find true happiness and finally get together.

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