May2

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Little Chapel on the River: A Pub, a Town and the Search for What Matters MostLittle Chapel on the River: A Pub, a Town and the Search for What Matters Most by Gwendolyn Bounds

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Little Chapel on the River is a community study of even tempo and simple observation. I appreciated the author’s reserve in description of both place and people.

Over time she lets their actions and words paint the picture of a group of people whose intersection is not in their own backgrounds or personalites, but in their desire, no, their longing for a place to step out of life for a bit to contemplate and discuss what passes by on river and road.

I had some difficulty in rating the book, though – I would give it a 3.5 stars if possible. My only complaint was that I found the stitching of the author’s passages to the life around the Little Chapel a little abrupt. I confess this was mainly an issue for me in the beginning of the book when I had not yet bought into the atmosphere and people of Guinan’s.

Perhaps it is just that I found the apt simplicity of the writing at odds with the events of 9/11 that led to her journey up the river – but I suppose that a return to basics does make sense in retrospect and any other method would have run the risk of overexposing the image too early on.

I would certainly recommend this to someone looking for a story of people and community.

I actually found Little Chapel mentioned in a genealogy thread for people while searching for info on the Guinan family in my great-great-grandmother’s part of the tree. My Guinans happened to come from near Birr where the family in the book came from – so I thought I’d see if I could learn anything from the book.

While I did not find too much info on the Ireland side of the story, I’m glad I found the book.

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