A Librarian Reads…

All the Walls of Belfast by Sarah Carlson

Danny has lived in Belfast, his home right up against the Peace Wall that divides his Protestant neighborhood from the Catholic one. Fiona has only recently discovered that the father her mother left in Belfast when she was very young has always wanted to contact her. She returns to Northern Ireland to reconnect with him and her two half-brothers. When the two meet, the attraction is instant and intense. But they both have secrets. Danny’s father is a member of the Ulster Volunteer Force, dedicated to fighting against the Catholics, as well as a drunk abuser. And Fiona’s father used to be a member of the IRA. In fact, it may have been one of his bombs that killed Danny’s mother. As each of them struggles to come to terms with their families and histories, they fall deeper and deeper for each other. But will their truths tear them apart?

Set in 2012, just fourteen years after “The Troubles” ended, this novel looks at the continuing violence in Northern Ireland. Fiona and Danny are both interesting and likeable characters with a genuine and believable affection for each other. I recommend this book to readers in high school and up who like history, especially Irish history, as well as anyone who enjoys a really good romance.

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