Out of Ireland

A Novel

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
328 Pages
Reviewed on 08/08/2023
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Review Exchange Program, which is open to all authors and is completely free. Simply put, you agree to provide an honest review an author's book in exchange for the author doing the same for you. What sites your reviews are posted on (B&N, Amazon, etc.) and whether you send digital (eBook, PDF, Word, etc.) or hard copies of your books to each other for review is up to you. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email, and be sure to describe your book or include a link to your Readers' Favorite review page or Amazon page.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

Author Biography

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Marian O'Shea Wernicke was a teacher there as well as in Lima, Peru, Madrid, Spain, and at Pensacola State College, where she was a professor of English for 25 years. She was married to Michael Wernicke for 46 years, until his death in 2022. Marian has three children, Kristin, married to Max Benitez, Tim, married to Sarah Wernicke, and John. She also has two grandsons, August Michael Benitez and Riley Michael Wernicke.
Her first novel, Toward That Which Is Beautiful, was published in September 2020, by She Writes Press. It's the story of a runaway nun who has been working in the high plain of Peru called the Altiplano in the early 60's. Why would she leave one day without telling anyone where she is going? Look for this exciting, moving account of her journey, both external as she meets people along the way, and internal as she discovers who she really is.
Her second novel, Out of Ireland, was published by She Writes Press on April 25, 2023. Set in Bantry, Ireland, in the late 1860s, this novel was inspired by the life of her Irish great-grandmother. The two main characters, Eileen O'Donovan and her brother Michael make the heart-wrenching decision to emigrate to the United States, hoping to find a better life. Best-selling author Stacey Swann, calls the novel "a love-letter to the strength of women who came before us, full of beauty, pain--and most of all--perseverance."

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

Set in 1867 in Bantry Bay, Ireland, Out of Ireland by Marian O'Shea Wernicke follows sixteen-year-old Eileen O'Donovan, who, due to her family's financial hardships after her father's passing, is reluctantly married to a 40-year-old widower named John Sullivan. The prospect of an arranged marriage shatters her dreams of romantic love. Meanwhile, her brother Michael becomes involved with the secret Irish Republican Brotherhood with consequences that impact their already troubled lives. Amidst crop failures and a storm of trouble, Michael and, later, Eileen and John, decide to immigrate to America in search of a better life. Their journey to a new land presents its own fresh set of challenges, leaving lasting impacts on their identities and experiences.

Out of Ireland by Marian O'Shea Wernicke is a gorgeously written historical saga that does more than tell a great story; it immerses readers in the life and times of a family and the tumult of their era in a tale that depicts the realities of 19th-century Ireland and the exodus journey. Religion and culture are integral parts of what it means to be Irish and these are richly depicted in scenes when a loved one is dying and Eileen sets up a small table with candles and a crucifix as a priest arrives to perform the Extreme Unction. It's somber, emotional, and visually beautiful. The evolution of characters is the most important part and the author delivers this as they all transition from one life to the next. My favorite part is when Eileen is in a position where she wishes to help someone who is, by nature of her skin color, in more dire circumstances than even she is. Eileen decides to teach Bess to read and chooses Little Women, which is so appropriate. I have no doubt that readers will reach for Out of Ireland with the same earnest feelings, and be heartened to have done so. Very highly recommended.

Edith Wairimu

Based in the 1800s, Out of Ireland by Marian O'Shea Wernicke is an engrossing historical drama that follows two siblings' lives in Ireland and later in America as they pursue freedom and happiness. Eileen's dreams of marrying a handsome young man are dashed when she is forced to marry an older man who can help her struggling family. Afraid for her son's future in Ireland, which is still under British rule, Eileen plans to leave for America. Her departure is encouraged by her brother, who leaves Ireland before her, after his involvement with the Irish Republican Brotherhood, a group dedicated to Ireland's freedom, deemed terrorists by the British. In America, both Michael and Eileen are determined to establish themselves. Still, their memories of their homeland remain alive.

Out of Ireland is an immensely engaging story that beautifully explores Ireland's history. I was transported to a different place and era through Wernicke's masterful writing. The characters' emotional struggles feel palpable as they face numerous challenges throughout their journeys. They are compelling, brave, and carefully crafted. The subtle romance creatively woven into the plot is original and fascinating. Out of Ireland by Marian O'Shea Wernicke is a beautiful homage to those who fought for Ireland's freedom and those who left to find freedom for the generations that would come after them. It is an unforgettable story with vivid descriptions that capture Ireland's beauty and rich detail that explains its history—highly recommended.

Emma Megan

Out of Ireland by Marian O'Shea Wernicke is a gripping coming-of-age story set in the late 1860s, following two youngsters as they immigrate to another country to find a better life. Mary Eileen O'Donovan is sixteen years old and wishes to become a teacher. Eileen dreams of a life like the ones she reads about in novels, full of adventures and true love. Yet her mother has other plans for her. She wants Eileen to marry a widower to save their family from ruin. Now, Eileen's only hope is her brother, Michael, who will help her find a way to stop their mother from marrying her against her will. However, Michael has his own problems. He is sick of Ireland and has no prospects for a future as he is involved in a dangerous business. Thus, he plans to escape to America to start a new life there. Will Eileen follow her brother to America?

Out of Ireland is a powerful, compelling narrative and an empathetic portrait of a young woman experiencing great loss, tragedy, guilt, a crisis of faith, freedom, independence, and ultimately, happiness and fulfillment. Marian O'Shea Wernicke cleverly balances the hardships and heartbreak of risking everything for a better life away from all one has ever known and loved. This brilliant and haunting story will stay in readers' hearts long after they close the book. It's an uplifting treat for historical fiction fans. Out of Ireland reveals an Ireland still under the harsh rule of the British and follows the journeys of a sister and brother as they find their way in life.

Dan O'Shea

A ripping good yarn!