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Reviewed by Melanie Kennedy for Readers' Favorite
The Winds of Morning is a prequel novel to the Donovan Family Saga series. Author Gifford MacShane immerses us in Ireland in 1848 when the Great Famine still ravages Ireland and its people as entire families and towns are wiped out. Young Molly, recently orphaned, must do what she can to keep her younger brothers alive. She finds herself at a precipice as she realizes the only thing she has left to offer is her body to provide food for herself and her brothers. After making this sad decision, she encounters John Patrick Donovan. Instead of using her for his pleasures, he helps feed her brothers and surprises her by proposing marriage. Molly can’t believe her luck, as she and her brothers will surely be spared from the famine. Their journey ahead is not easy, but it is filled with love and compassion, as only a true saga is.
When I read the synopsis for The Winds of Morning, I knew I would love it. Although a prequel, it can be read as a standalone novel and is just as enjoyable. I love Ireland and the beauty it radiates, but the Great Famine was a truly terrible time for the Emerald Isle. Gifford MacShane accurately portrays the devastation the Irish people endured as well as the true reason they suffered during this time; it was not for a lack of food, as most history books would lead you to believe. I loved Gifford’s beautifully crafted story of love and hope and can’t wait to read what Molly and John Patrick’s family get up to in the next installment.