Liverpool by Ged Melia


Liverpool by Ged Melia

Genre: Historical Fiction/Biographical Fiction

Published: July 2023

Publisher: Grosvenor House Publishing

Pages: 346

Available: Kindle, Paperback

Series: Yes

Romance:♥️ Nothing too graphic (have a dictionary handy)

Violence: 😨 Appropriate for the story, nothing too graphic

Book Cover: Don't like. I really don't think this cover does the book justice.

Thank you to the author Ged Melia for a complimentary copy of his book. 

The short story: Heartrending story of an Irish family fleeing their country for the chance of a better life, but not finding it.

Liverpool is the story of an Irish family, Edward and Bridget O’Mhaille, and their children, especially their eldest son, Austin. But the story could be that of any Irish family who fled their homeland in the 1840s and 1850s, in an effort to make a better life for themselves and their children. Ruthless landlords have driven them into abject poverty and many are starving from the devastating potato blight. What awaits them in Liverpool is scarcely better. 

Author Ged Melia based this story on that of his ancestors and as my own ancestors traveled a similar path, leaving Ireland for Manchester where they worked in the mills, I was intrigued to see how he crafted a narrative based on their lives. Melia has clearly done his research and I’m sure if you’re familiar with Liverpool you’ll get a real sense of the place as it was one hundred and fifty years ago. Political and social issues help flesh out the lives of the O’Mhaille clan. 

While very interesting and well written, to me, the book reads as a running fictionalized biography of multiple generations of the O’Mhaille family rather than a  story in the classic sense, including the typical elements of rising action, climax and resolution. 

Liverpool is not an easy read. The subject matter is dark and the plight of these poor people is really heartbreaking. You keep hoping something good will happen. There are brief moments of happiness; a wedding, a christening, a holiday, but then it’s right back to the daily grind of living hand to mouth. 

I found Liverpool to be well written but it’s told in 3rd person omniscient which is not a POV that I particularly enjoy. And while I can’t call  it entertaining, it was highly informative and gave me a deeper understanding of the lives my ancestors, and what they endured at that time. 

I highly recommend this book to history lovers looking to learn more about the Irish flight during the Potato Famine, life in England for the working class poor, and Irish history.

I rate this book: 4 ½ Stars (rounded up for Amazon.)  


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