Book Review: The Moon Over Kilmore Quay

Carmel Harrington ~ The Moon Over Kilmore Quay


Brooklyn, New York.
Bea has grown up in the heart of the Irish community, always hearing stories of home. When she discovers a letter from her younger self, written years before, it sends her deep into her own family history.

Kilmore Quay, Ireland.
Years earlier, Lucy Mernagh leaves her much-loved home and family in search of the New York dream. The Big Apple is a world away from the quiet village she grew up in, and the longing for home aches within her.

When Bea uncovers a shocking secret, it takes her back across the water to Kilmore Quay, where – finally – long-buried truths will come to light. But fate has one last twist in store…


Ireland is a place I’ve always wanted to visit as it features in so many love stories. As do the Irish. There’s a real sense of community about the place and it’s very appealing.

People might say that New York is the opposite of Ireland because it’s distant and everyone is busy. I’ve never found that; each time I visit the city I end up making acquaintances who take me all manner of random cool place.

That said, there’s a clear contrast and this story takes place in both Ireland and New York, in the 90s and in 2020. Despite the majority of the characters being born in New York, they are still inherently Irish and this sense of self, belonging and authenticity really feature throughout. It’s heartwarming and cosy, with multiple families coming together over a shared heritage.

The Moon Over Kilmore Quay is a beautiful story and it had me on the verge of tears a few times. Relationships feel genuine and relatable, as do the problems Bea and Lucy characters face.

While a lot of the characters are well-rounded, others lack depth; this may be deliberate due to the plot of the story, so that we cannot work it all out. There are also a few errors and accidental changes of narration which make it a little confusing at times, as well as a couple of convenient coincidences.

The book’s slow pace works well for the parts set in Ireland, but jars a little with the references to a busy New York.

However, these are minor issues. For at its heart, this book is an emotional story of trying to find yourself when you are torn between where you grew up and where you came from, especially if part of you feels that it belongs to a place where you have never been.

Funny, heart-breaking and really quite lovely, this book will be hard to forget.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I received a copy from Random Things Tours and HarperCollins. Opinions my own.

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