cover image Irish Eyes

Irish Eyes

Andrew M. Greeley. Forge, $24.95 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-312-86570-2

Nuala Anne McGrail and husband, Dermot Michael Coyne, are bewitched by their new baby daughter, red-haired, green-eyed Nellie Coyne, who proves to be as fey as her mother in this latest puzzle from prolific priest Greeley (Irish Gold, Irish Lace, etc.). While at the Lake Michigan summer home of Dermot's parents, mother has a vision of the ramming and sinking of a ship on a stormy night 100 years ago while daughter cries in apparent psychic sympathy. This sets a course that leads the husband-wife team to explore the history of the Irish in Chicago, the conditions for immigrants at that time and the impact of past deeds on the present. Old country politics come into play, as do the descendants of those proud, resilient newcomers. Meanwhile, local radio personality Nick Farmer, who's envious of Dermot's writing success, is determined to destroy Nuala's blossoming folksinging career and even threatens legal proceedings that could take away her baby. Greeley's very loving couple are an amalgam of the traditional and the high tech, with cell phones at the ready and always only a beep away from the baby-sitter. Dermot makes an endearing narrator, in turn adoring and bemused, although at times Greeley goes a bit overboard on the brogue. The author enriches the plot with Windy City lore and even manages to work the Balkan Mafia into the act. You don't have to be Irish to enjoy this one. (Mar.)