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Publisher's Summary

In this sweeping and powerful epic the journey begins in the "terrible beauty" of Northern Ireland during a time when conflict reigns and no one is spared from tragedy and sorrow, the time known as The Troubles.

It is the spring of 1968 in Belfast and James Kirkpatrick has just lost his father under suspicious circumstances, Casey Riordan is released from prison after five years and Pamela O'Flaherty has crossed an ocean and a lifetime of memories to find the man she fell in love with as a little girl. All three lives are on a collision course with each other against the backdrop of the burgeoning civil rights movement and a nation on the brink of revolution.

They come from disparate backgrounds - Jamie a wealthy aristocrat whose life is like an imperfect but multi-faceted jewel-brilliant, flawed and with a glitter that is designed to distract the observer. Casey, a card-carrying member of the Irish Republican Army, who must face the fact that five years away has left him a stranger, a misfit in his own neighborhood where not everyone is sympathetic to a convicted rebel. Pamela, who has come to Ireland in search of a memory and a man who may not have existed in the first place.

Through it all runs the ribbon of a love story: love of country, the beginning love of two people unable to resist the pull of each other regardless of the cost to themselves and those around them, and the selfless love of one man who no longer believes himself capable of such emotion.

It is an electrifying tale of a people divided by religion and politics, a tale of love and danger, of triumph and tragedy. Ultimately it is the story of that "terrible beauty" herself - Ireland - and how nation is bound to one's identity, woven into the weft of all we become.

©2001, 2012 Cindy Brandner (P)2017 Cindy Brandner

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At long last!

Love the series and was anxiously awaiting the audible version so that I could have this intriguing and beautifully descriptive novel read to me by someone with a lovely Irish accent! Home run - the narrator is just perfect and I’m thrilled so far. May update after I’ve listened to the entire thing, but I’m sure it will only be to heap further praise upon both the author and her excellent choice of narrator!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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excellent!!

What a great story woven through a fascinating period in Irish history. the Narration is superb!

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Such an experience!

I loved the Irish history and how it became part of the story! The characters and their lives make you laugh and cry at the same time. Cindy Brandner, you’ve created a world which now exists in my mind and your characters have a place in my heart!

The reader is perfect.. his soft brogue comes and goes with the characters and imparts a realism that puts the finishing touches in place.

Well worth listening and I’ll be waiting for more!

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BRAVO!!!

There are times I wish I had never opened the book.  I was just looking for something entertaining, but I was spellbound.  I have read the book twice, along with the others in the series, but I find listening to the lyrical prose in Mr. Furlong's delightful accent a whole different experience, bringing a depth I had not found in the voice in my own head.  Ms. Brandner weaves a tale of deadly beauty.  I stumbled a little at first, then raced headlong to the end, read the other books in the series, and immediately began them again.  I find the Irish politics difficult reading, often wishing she had skipped that part and stuck to the love triangle.  I had already fallen out with my English ancestors after reading Trinity and Outlander.  This is a tale of two cities, Belfast and Boston, in a time of revolution as deadly as the French Revolution. It left a beautiful island and a poetic people devastated and scarred.  The story of doomed love is woven in and out of war that goes on for decades and across continents.  The heroes and villains are intricately developed and the intrigue goes on from book to book.  I want it to end so I will know what happens and yet I want it to never end.  Bravo, Ms. Brandner!

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Excellent!

I was thrilled to experience Exit Unicorns by Cindy Brandner via Audible! This book is the first in a series that begins in Ireland in the late 60s and takes us on an incredible adventure with four characters who meet and intertwine their lives through family, love, and social/political unrest in one of the most beautiful and colorful countries. The characters quickly become important to you through Cindy’s incredible writing, but Gary Furlong’s narration bring them fully alive and walking around in the room with you! I read the book twice over a year ago and when it recently became available through Audible, I jumped on the chance to revisit Jamie, Pamela, Casey and Patrick! Gary brought inspired individual style to each character that held consistently throughout the book. His ability to customize his tone, accent, and emotion for each Irish, English or American role he encountered was amazing. I especially enjoyed some other characters in the book who became more menacing and/or humorous due to Gary’s skill. I’m a fan of this series in particular and can’t wait to hear the next three books as they come available via Audible!

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A perfect escape and a tempestuous well written Irish period drama.

I had already read this wonderful series after finishing what Diana Gabaldon had written and this was a perfect Segway. A perfectly plausible love triangle to make you envy and pity Pamela , Jaime (Irish aristocrat and so much more) and Casey (IRA Rebel) set in the political and religious struggle of Northern Ireland in the 60’s. There are dashes of the mythological and mystical Ireland but it’s not the focus.

Having heard it now as well I missed so many details. Specifically the very end I missed a very important piece of information about Pamela and I don’t know how! Gary really brought the characters to life and made the story more poignant. He did a variety of characters voices and accents and even languages across a few nationalities very well and was still able to give every Irish character male or female a distinct voice so it felt like different people.

I highly recommend listening!

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Beautifully written, comes to life in the audio

Grabs you right by the heart. Having read Exit Unicorns, I had high expectations for the audio version. Mr. Furlong did not disappoint! His characterizations are spot-on.

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Magical

First let me state that I was given a promotional credit to listen to this book. However, I have read the entire series to date and am a fan of Cindy Brandner. I am a voracious reader and my motto is "so many good books, so little time" so I rarely reread a book and must confess would not have used a credit to buy this book since I already had read the story. But that would have been a huge mistake. Cindy Brandner tells a wonderful story but Gary Furlong's reading turns it into poetry. I have the bad habit in my rush to find out what happens next to skim over portions of a book when reading. I don't do this when listening to a book. Brandner provides a lot of back history in the story which some may find tedious (and it is an example of the parts I tend to skim when reading.) However as you progress through the story it becomes clear that this history lesson is needed to fully appreciate the actions of the characters. It doesn't take long to become fully invested in the characters and Gary Furlong does a good job of individualizing them and giving them personality. He does a super job with the male voices and although you will recognize the female voices as being female they are not "girlish". I wonder if there would have been an improvement if a female reader would have been used or if it would have just chopped up the reading. I fully intend to listen to the entire series as they come out in Audible and eagerly wait to read the book Brandner is presently working on. I totally recommend this one. Magical.

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What a voice...what a story

I had read this book before listening to it. I was going to say that the story was familiar but I got so much more from listening to it. I paid more attention to the details. The narrator’s voice was very easy to listen to. He switched from character to character so easily. It was really well done. Can’t wait to hear book 2!

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Love this series!

I read the books. Hearing this now I am catching details I had forgotten and the story is as intriguing the second time as it was the first!

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  • Susie
  • 11-30-17

The best book series ever!

Everything was fantastic. I love this series. The narrator brings the story to life. A must read/ listern to those who love historical fiction. Gripping all the way throughout.