by Ana Seymour, historical (2002)
Jove (Irish Eyes), $5.99, ISBN 0-515-13415-5
This is a very boring story. The heroine is stupid, the kid is a plot device filled with sickening sap and has a token handicap (hey, I'm rhyming), and the hero is predictably the savior of damsels in distress. Maid Of Killarney is made of baloney, dull baloneys.
Lily was impregnated and dumped by a faithless man a long time ago. While she loves her clubfooted kid Daphne more than anything, she will hate all men forever and ever. Of course, she lives with her daughter in the scariest run-down house at the edge of Whistler's Woods and get harrassed by villagers calling them both witches day and night. Lily is happy. She's a true-life martyr now, look ma!
Our hero John Black comes to town to visit his buddies who have appeared in this author's previous books before. He was a rebel in some Irish Uprising thingie, but now he just spends his time trying to babysit Lily. He saves Daphne from sinking to the bottom of the river one day. Since he is also a doctor, he believes he can also help Daphne. But Lily is not happy! Men! Pests! Scums! Men!
A typical trend of this story is Lily whining that John must never help them away, go away, shoo but of course she needs help and she is grateful for him, but after the smoochies and kisses are over and her, er, "senses" return, she will push him away again. Then she will need rescuing and the whole pattern repeats itself. Maybe the author wants to show how independent this Lily is, but independence means helping oneself, not fumbling badly and needing rescuing even as one screams that one does not need help.
Lily is dull, John is dull, the kid is dull, the obligatory "Here comes the villain, save meeee!" thing is dull, the Irish setting is wallpaper - dull, the plot develops in a familiar trend - dull, the characters behave and say things in predictable patterns - dull. Dull, dull, dull. So much so that several less saintly martyr-like secondary characters - such as Lily's sister-in-law Maired - overshadow Supernoble John and Lily the Most Easily Manipulated By Guilt Idiot Of The Century completely. Maid Of Killarney is a dull rescue fantasy story of "killar" proportions.
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