cover image Irish Tweed: A Nuala Anne McGrail Novel

Irish Tweed: A Nuala Anne McGrail Novel

Andrew M. Greeley. Forge, $24.95 (254pp) ISBN 978-0-7653-2223-4

At the start of Greeley's spirited 12th Nuala Anne McGrail novel (after 2008's Irish Tiger ), his feisty heroine delivers a black belt kick to the unlikable new principal's stomach in a schoolyard brawl involving all four of her children. Solving the bullying problem at St. Joe's isn't the only challenge facing Irish-born Nuala and her adoring husband, Dermot Michael Coyne. They must also figure out who beat and threw Finnbar Burke, the “nice fella” with whom their shy, golden-haired nanny has fallen in love, into the Chicago River. Interspersed with the present-day action is the poignant story of an Irish girl who came to America after all her immediate family died in the famine of 1875. While some readers may feel Greeley dwells too much on Nuala and Dermot's joyous sex life and overdoes the Irish dialect, few can resist the charm of these colorful, warm characters and the author's sympathetic view of the Irish of Chicago. (Feb.)