The Crows of Beara, by Julie Christine Johnson, takes place in rural, windswept Ireland. As someone interested in all things Irish — especially the landscape — this book appealed to me immediately.
The main character, Annie, is an American public relations specialist and recovering alcoholic. Her personal life is falling apart when she is sent to a small Irish town to promote a new copper mine.
What follows is an ethical and environmental dilemma, as the mine would harm the nesting grounds of an endangered species of bird. The residents of the town are against this, including one man in particular.
Daniel and Annie are drawn together, though it isn’t simple. There are major conflicts at play, including the conflict between protecting the environment and promoting economic growth. The novel is initially more focused on these issues, but as Daniel and Annie’s relationship develops, it takes center stage.
Interestingly, this novel has an added element of mysticism woven in. This isn’t usually my favorite element, but it somehow seems appropriate in this remote corner of Ireland. I especially like the landscape focus of this novel, as there is something incredibly moving and inspiring about places like this.
The writing does not disappoint, and flows along with the landscape fluidly. Johnson writes in an easy, straightforward style that is easy to follow. Readers also get the perspective of both characters, including their thoughts and feelings. These don’t always align with their actions, which is frustrating but true to life.
The ending is a bit predictable and some of the conflicts don’t feel perfectly resolved, but it’s an enjoyable read nonetheless. Readers interested in human nature, troubled pasts, the healing power of nature, and the issue of economy vs. environment will especially enjoy this book.
Thank you to TLC Book Tours for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. If you’re interested in purchasing The Crows of Beara, check out the links below. You can also find out more about Julie on her website, and connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.