A white fence protected his small yard and its long rectangles of grass. He had a yellow garden bench and rosebushes, pruned to austerity. Around one side of the house I counted one, two, three fruit trees. If, on a calendar, a tourist brochure, or a postcard, you saw such a scene, with the golden roof of thatched and smocked straw, a pleased smile would cross your mind.The Last Storyteller by Frank Delaney tells the story of Ben MacCarthy, by occupation a collector of Irish stories and lore. He travels the countryside, visiting the storytellers and recording the stories. As he travels he manages to also collect a poor, young girl fleeing her abusive family; a gunrunner for the IRA; and his much abused and beaten one-time wife. The supporting characters of this unlikely cast help fill in the rest of Ben's story.
Despite the troubled times, and troubled people, that populate The Last Storyteller, it is not a dark or depressing novel. It was easy to become Ben's friend through the reading and adopt his accepting attitude. Sometimes he came off as a bit of a doormat but a loveable doormat, and he always managed to redeem himself. As Marian Killeen said "Ben had the greatest gift of loving." (pg 383) which, in turn, made him eminently loveable.
The Last Storyteller gives the reader an understanding of this turbulant time in Ireland's history all wrapped up in lovely adventure. A very worthwhile read.
Character Development 5
Violence 3 – not offensive or very explicit