Finding that you no longer believe in something sacred is difficult at best, but if you are a nun who spent the past 16 years in a convent, this realization creates problems of biblical proportions. Mary McGreevy is the story of one such nun. After so many years behind the protective and confining walls of her convent, she moves back to her birthplace. Mary returns home following the death of her father to work the family farm and explore all the passions that were suppressed for years.
The novel takes place in Ireland’s parish of Kildawree. Father Mulroe, the parish priest, receives a letter from Mary’s convent that asks him to round up this rogue nun. He fails. After all, a nun who decided she has lost faith in religion and longs to have a child without the benefit of a husband is a difficult case indeed. Mary McGreevy is written, in many ways, like the land in which it is set. Keady directs the reader to climb slowly up lush hills, sometimes tumbling down the opposite side and occasionally sticking in the soft sand between. Mary’s sexual tension is obvious. You spend the first hundred pages wondering with whom she will consummate her freedom, and the next hundred wishing she would just get on with it.
The Irish expressions used in the text are difficult to master, but the reader will soon learn what “Musha” and “Bad cess to ye” mean. Still, Mary McGreevy is a good story. Keady is a talented writer with an interesting style who has obvious love for Ireland and its history. Readers who enjoy a good tale of standing ground before something as ominous as the Catholic church will appreciate this intriguing book.
Alan L. White
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