Patrick Gallagher’s future was mapped out—and it didn’t include Amy Henderson or the IRA.
She was everything he’d never wanted. Too young. Too naïve.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t help but be fascinated by the girl who took refuge in his old bedroom, staying with his mum more often than not.
She looked like a Renaissance painting and argued like a solicitor. He couldn’t resist her, and before long, he didn’t even want to.
Instead, he loved her unreservedly… then he married her.
But he couldn’t have prepared for what happened after.
Actions, no matter how large or how small, have consequences—and when the IRA comes knocking, he’s sucked into a life that he’d never anticipated.
Choices were made.
Hearts were broken.
Trust was shattered.
Lives were lost.
Through it all, he loved her.
It was a love that spanned decades.
Review by Amanda
After reading this book, I almost feel like I need a tranquiliser or a really stiff drink. I have literally been overcome by every single emotion I have ever felt. This book is EPIC! I loved every single word. I always had a soft spot for Poet, but after reading this I wasn't sure whether I loved him or hated him. That is part of the genius of this book. You grow to love, but at the same time hate the characters for what they put one another through. Warning – this is a book that will definitely require tissues.
This book follows the love story of Poet and Amy. They meet in Ireland, when Amy is on the brink of turning 18 years old. Amy has been staying in Poet’s house with his mother Peg most nights. Her parents are dysfunctional (that’s all I can really say without giving away too much). They are not interested in having her around any time, but most especially at night. She sneaks out through the window to spend just about every night with Peg. Upon his return from University, Poet is immediately livid, finding Amy practically living with his Mom. He knows his Mom has a soft heart and is worried that she is being taken advantage of.
After calling somewhat of a truce, the two develop a friendship – which is filled with lots of bickering and hilarity. They definitely don’t make things easy on one another; both are extremely headstrong and stubborn. The one thing that they both can agree on is the chemistry they feel towards one another. Poet however knows Amy is too young and does his utmost to stay away from her, which is very difficult to do, considering she is practically living at his house.
Eventually the time comes for him to return to University and he says his goodbyes (with a heavy heart). He keeps in touch with both Peg and Amy with sweet letters that he sends home. Often times he will quote beautiful poetry to Amy in the letters, which leave her swooning.
An altercation between Amy and her parents leave her between a rock and a hard place, she withdraws from Peg, who concerned with her behavior, immediately calls on Poet.
On this particular night, however, Poet is doing something that will forever change both their lives in a devastating way.
Poet rushes to Amy and when he finds out the reason for her withdrawal from Peg, immediately intervenes and arranges for Amy to leave her parents’ home. She moves in with Peg, and it begins the start of her new life.
Poet adores Amy however; he doesn’t want to dishonor her by sleeping with her before being married. He promises her that they will be together, but she needs to first finish school and he needs to complete University, so that he can offer her the life she deserves.
Amy and Poet have become so close, it is torturing him to know that he has to leave her before he can have her, so before he returns to University he proposes to Amy, but tells her she needs to finish up the last month of school before they marry.
They eventually marry in a small ceremony which is overseen by Poet’s childhood friend, Kevie, and it is the happiest day of Amy’s life.
Eventually the honeymoon has to end however, and Poet has to return to University. Amy is furthering her education and needs to remain behind and this is devastating to her, she doesn’t want to see her husband go.
In the background of the book, we also experience Poet’s father, Robbie working for the IRA. He has fallen out though, and is nervous for the repercussions he may face. The only way for him to stay in good stead with the IRA is for Poet to join him. This is not the life Poet wanted for himself – however, there is little he can do when he is given the ultimatum “You are either with us or you are against us”. He knows he has no choice.
As his life becomes more and more intertwined with the IRA, Poet’s letters and calls home become fewer and far between. His University work suffers and eventually he has to relent and leave his studies behind.
He eventually moves back to Peg’s house with his father in tow. Although initially pleasing to Amy, when she discovers all the hidden secrets of Poet’s new life she is in turmoil. She loves him but doesn’t want this life for herself.
Then everything changes…and not for the better. Poet’s dad becomes a victim to the IRA. Someone arrives on their doorstep that forever changes the course of their relationship.
With the help of their new friends, Charlie (Slider) and Vera they plan to escape Ireland to start a new life for everyone. Poet will leave the next day with the new arrival (I cannot say too much here without giving away a huge plot spoiler). The plan is then for Amy, Peg and Doc to leave a few days later.
Everything seems to be going according to plan, until the night before Amy leaves. She is taken by the IRA and tortured for secrets they know she may hold. She manages to escape, but when it is time to leave, she tells Doc that she is going her own way. Peg agrees to go with her.
When Peg and Amy eventually settle into a small town in Texas, the reality of all that she has endured finally hits her and she stops talking completely. Poet rushes to her side, but when he gets there it isn’t the welcoming he is expecting. Things turn from bad to worse, and he eventually leaves telling Amy he is done with her.
Peg stays with Amy, and this has a damaging effect on the relationship between Peg and Poet. For a long time he doesn’t want anything to do with Peg.
The story then starts moving through time and we see Poet and Amy finally develop a friendship. As time passes, we see them once again loving and hurting one another. It really is heart breaking to read. One moment you are routing for them and in the next moment, you just want them to stop hurting each other.
This book gets 5 MAGNIFICENT stars from me. I loved every moment of it. I didn’t want to turn the page towards the end because I didn’t want it to end. It is well written, emotional, gut wrenching, hilarious and filled with the most epic love story. I loved it so much. I have loved this whole series, but I have to say for the emotional rollercoaster journey that this book took my emotions on, it is by far my absolute favourite.
I am wondering after reading this book, whether Nicole will give us a book or a novella about Nix. I really do want to find out what happens to him and where he ends up. He was a character that I totally fell in love with reading this story.
Nicole Jacquelyn you are my AUTHOR CRUSH!
Meet Nicole Jacquelyn
Nicole Jacquelyn is the mom of two little girls and a full time college student. She hasn’t watched television in well over a year, she still does things that drive her mother crazy, and she loves to read. At eight years old, when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she told people she wanted to be a mom. When she was twelve her answer changed- to author. By the time she was eighteen, when people asked her what she wanted to do with her life, she told them she really wanted to be a writer- but the odds of that happening were so slim that she’d get her business degree “just to be safe”. Her dreams stayed constant. First she became a mom, then she went to college, and during her senior year- with one daughter in first grade and the other in preschool, she sat down and wrote a story