I absolutely loved Tracey Lange’s debut We are the Brennans last year. It was one of my favorite reads, as I enjoyed the way all the POVs flowed together. When Celadon sent me an ARC of her newest release The Connellys of County Down, I immediately dropped everything to read it.
Tara Connelly, has just spent 18months in prison for drug trafficking. With no money or job, Tara is back in her family home with her siblings and her nephew. While her brother Eddie and nephew are happy to have her back, Tara’s sister Geraldine isn’t happy to have her ex-con sister back in the house. For Geraldine, order is paramount, and Tara’s brand of disorder is anxiety enduring for Geraldine. In order to weave herself back into the family all three siblings, not just Tara, will need to face secrets they’ve long been hiding.
While I didn’t love the Connelly’s as much as I did The Brennans, Lange did a fantastic job of creating another complex and flawed family dynamic. Alternating between the three siblings and Tara’s arresting officer Brain, I loved the way Lange slowly told the stories of each character, and felt that all of them were equally developed. Even though Geraldine gave me so much anxiety, I felt connected too each character in different ways and really rooted for them. Even our secondary characters (Tara’s employers) and Connor were nicely developed and really enhanced the story. Tara’s employers in particular I loved.
There is a slight romance aspect to the story, which I felt was well done and didn’t over shadow the larger story about family.
Tracey Lange is quickly becoming one of my auto buy authors. She’s a master at weaving both inspiring and real stories of families together. I that she focuses on themes of family loyalty, forgiveness, and sibling bonds. I can’t wait to be a part of the next family she writes about!
The Connellys of County Down comes out August 1. Huge thank you to s for Celadon Books my advanced copy in exchange for my honest opinion. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my instagram @speakingof.books.