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Notes from a Spinning Planet: Ireland

Review

Notes from a Spinning Planet: Ireland

Nineteen-year-old Maddie Chase, who has never been on a plane before or visited another country, is affectionately teased about being a "country bumpkin" from Washington state. Ready to cast off that rather dismal reputation, Maddie now sits flying over the Atlantic Ocean with hands clenched trying not to think about the turbulence they're experiencing en route to Ireland. Maddie can't help but notice that her Aunt Sid, a journalist, is calm as ever, as is Sid's godson Ryan, who is sleeping through the storm.

Conflicted and a bit overwhelmed, Maddie still isn't sure what to make of this trip. Just days before, it was going to be just Maddie and Sid; now Ryan has joined their party, and it's throwing Maddie off-kilter. Her aunt hands Maddie a leather journal and tells her to begin her travel journal now.

Some hours later, disoriented and disheveled, the trio disembarks from the plane in Shannon; they get through customs and begin their travel in earnest. Checking into a bed and breakfast, Aunt Sid explains that she will be interviewing a select few from Galway and Connemara. In some way, Maddie feels that this is a hush-hush assignment having to do with her aunt's summer in Ireland way back in the 1970s when the IRA was in the forefront of the news worldwide.

Maddie and Ryan are then thrown together to do some sightseeing while Aunt Sid conducts her interviews. Maddie is not sure why she feels so strongly about Ryan ordering a pint of Guinness at dinner. Eventually they discuss matters of faith and their differences, which helps Maddie better comprehend how the Irish Catholics and the British Protestants still cannot agree to disagree, and the fight continues through Ireland's political scene.

If settling these core differences wasn't enough emotional drama, Maddie and Ryan set out to solve a mystery involving the death of Ryan's Irish father and Aunt Sid's long-lost love. Between the two of them, they encourage each other to press forward, discovering clues, making Irish friends and unlocking long-repressed secrets of the heart.

Author Melody Carlson clearly understands the subtle nuances of young adulthood and mixes these pivotal life junctures with fun, adventure, romance and a bit of Irish history thrown in for good measure. Fans will be treated to a travelogue adventure story that is sure to have them eagerly awaiting the next installment in this series.

Reviewed by Michele Howe on November 7, 2006

Notes from a Spinning Planet: Ireland
by Melody Carlson

  • Publication Date: November 7, 2006
  • Genres: Christian, Fiction
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: WaterBrook Press
  • ISBN-10: 1400071445
  • ISBN-13: 9781400071449