On sabbatical from her job in the LA record business, Hailey takes a trip to Ireland for the vacation of a lifetime. What she finds is a job offer too good to turn down.
Her new job comes with one major complication - Liam Hennessey. He's a famous Irish musician whose entire life has revolved around performing. And Hailey falls in love with him. Although Liam's not so sure love is in the cards for him, he's not willing to push her away completely.
And so begins Hailey's journey to a colorful land that changes her life, unites her with friends more colorful than the Irish landscape, and gives her a chance at happiness she's never found before.
Wise. Immersive. Heartfelt. Lush. Realistic.
These are the words that come to mind when I think about this novel. Claire Fullerton leads the reader through a story not only of love and finding oneself, but also of the feeling of being a foreigner in a strange and beautiful place. Ireland is brought to life in Fullerton's unhurried descriptions of Hailey's daily life and the locals in the rural area of Connemara. This is not a fast-paced or shockingly dramatic story by any means, but the fully realized sense of place and the brilliant characters nonetheless drew me in as a reader. Hailey is a bright and pensive young woman, and I was struck over and over again by the tidbits of truth she would stumble upon in her thoughts. I really related to her, how she would always over-analyze things in her relationship with Liam. I found myself thinking to her "Ugh yes, I totally know what you mean!" over and over like she was a good friend. I mean-- boyz man, they're complicated. By the end, I 1. felt like I had learned a few things about life from Hailey's wise narration and 2. I was pining to hop on a plane to Ireland.
And the accents! There's a whole new layer added in listening to the audio version-- Rebecca Hansen's treatment of the different accents from all the different characters was completely charming.
If you like to travel, if you like real-world relationships, and if you can relate to the beautiful bittersweet-feeling that one gets when looking at life through clear eyes, then take a listen. This one's for you.
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