Flight of the Earls by Michael Reynolds


I admire the work of an author who would take on this kind of work to show the conditions immigrants had to suffer when they came to America, both on the voyage over as well as on American soil. A light should be shown on those deplorable conditions. However, it does not cover up poor storytelling.

There are some jewels in this story, but these jewels do not overshadow some storytelling flaws. When telling a story from one perspective and then 3/4's of the way through switching to a different perspective makes for poor story flow. The reader is introduced to Liam and the family, then focus is bent upon Claire, then switched to Seamus, and frankly I lost interest long before the switch.

(Spoiler Alert: I am about to discuss why I did not like the book and it involves sharing some plot lines.)

When Claire recovers from ship board fever, and she and the boys move to their uncle's building she finds work as a seamstress, takes up with a fighter, and makes eyes at a young man who sings hymns under her window. While Reynolds does a most excellent job of painting the villainies of Claire's relations, this particularly good writing falls apart when one studies the whole story outline. For no reason that I can fathom, she "falls in love" with that singing young man. She is brought into his home, fed and clothed by his parents, and then he shows her his dream ministry in Five Points.

I have read better plot developments in melodramatic mysteries.

It is a crying shame this  author who turns a bonny phrase such as an old man's "rumpled forehead" and "the boys waddled a boiling pot of water to the tub" should have such a problem with plot development. This plot is more like a line of incidents which the characters suffer rather than an actual story. The problem is there is no real character development, and no one actually grows from the consequences of the incidents.

I give it 2 stars out of 5 because of the bonny turns of phrases.

This week, the
Christian Fiction Blog Alliance
is introducing
Flight of the Earls
B&H Books (January 1, 2013)
Michael Reynolds


Michael K. Reynolds is the writer and producer of Emmy and Telly Award-winning film campaigns and has more than two decades of experience in fiction, journalism, copywriting, and documentary production. He owns Global Studio, a marketing agency, and is also an active leader in church and business, speaking in both ministry and corporate settings. Michael lives with his wife and three children in Reno, Nevada.


It’s 1846 in Ireland. When her family’s small farm is struck by famine, Clare Hanley and her younger brother, Seamus, set out across the ocean to the Promised Land of America. Five years prior, Clare’s older sister Margaret and her Uncle Tomas emigrated in similar fashion and were not to be heard from again. But Clare must face her fears as she lands in the coming-of-age city of New York. There she discovers love, adventure, tragedy, and a terrible secret which threatens to destroy her family and all she believes. Flight of the Earls is the first book in a historical novel trilogy based on Irish immigration in the 1840s.

If you'd like to read the first chapter of Flight of the Earls, go HERE

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