New Engaging Historical Novel Leaves Readers Wanting For More

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Joyce McDonald crafts the right mix of historical insight and captivating scenes in an amazingly good read that will regale even the most discriminating readers of the genre

An amazingly good read and an engaging novel from Joyce McDonald will, without a doubt, regale even the most discriminating readers of the historical fiction genre. In The Benediction, McDonald’s rare ability to add musicality to her prose is subtly combined with her wit and eloquence in crafting a memorable story with characters that worm their way into the reader’s hearts.

Betrayed by their homeland, the English, and the Catholic Church, the O’Dwyer family of four brothers and a sister is torn apart and forced to flee early-nineteenth-century Ireland one by one. Their search for one another and their struggle to restore the family while spread over three countries challenge them to retain their faith and belief in the future. All four brothers- Liam, Donal, Niall and Declan, are in love with the lovely Marie Foley, and their feelings for her tear them further apart. Even Declan, the youngest, who has the “gift of sight,” never envisioned that within a year, cattle would be grazing where their home stood, his parents buried near Ringrone Castle, and the village destroyed. How could he have known Liam would be whisked out of the country with English soldiers on his heels or that Donal would destroy his life with drink? Could he have known that Niall would desert them and become a success on his own?

Research for this novel was done in County Cork, Ireland, where McDonald lived for three and a half years. “The Benediction is dedicated to the memory of Mildred Marie McDonald, who first suggested the idea of a novel about the Irish immigrants who made their way from County Cork to the town of Benedicta, Maine,” the author wrote. “It was her persistence that this story was worth telling that stayed in my mind for several years before prompting me to write it. It is also dedicated to Fred W. McDonald who urged me on and supported me through the years of research and writing of this story.”

Written with regal grandeur, The Benediction has the right mix of historical insight and captivating scenes that will leave readers wanting for more as the pages thin down to the very end.

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About the Author
Joyce McDonald’s background includes feature writing for a daily newspaper, editing publications for several banks, and editing executive newsletters. She is the author of "Killing the Cure", a contemporary suspense novel, and the coauthor of "Semka: The Sammy Skobel Story". She teaches a course in memoir writing and facilitates a creative writing workshop at Hodges University’s Lifelong Learning Center in Naples, Florida. She makes her home in Bonita Springs, Florida, with her husband, Louis Luciani.

The Benediction* by Joyce McDonald
Publication Date: January 17, 2012
Trade Paperback; $23.99; 477 pages; 978-1-4691-3927-2
Trade Hardback; $34.99; 477 pages; 978-1-4691-3928-9

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (610) 915-0294 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.

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