Irish Winter

Irish Winter[Read] ➵ Irish Winter By John Simpson – Living in Cork Ireland a hotbed of resistance to British rule makes Ian Mulroney's life dangerous despite his peaceful beliefs But disgusted by the brutality and shootings in the streets he agrees to Living in Cork Ireland a hotbed of resistance to British rule makes Ian Mulroney's life dangerous despite his peaceful beliefs But disgusted by the brutality and shootings in the streets he agrees to join the local IRA brigade to use his skills with medicine and learn the ways of warThere he meets Devlin Walsh Ian has seen him before and the impression left upon his body was not easy to ignore He couldn't know that Devlin felt the same But because of the war they are comrades first despite their silent budding attraction to one anotherAs the resistance grows and the violence escalates Ian and Devlin fight the only way they know how losing family and friends in their efforts to free their country Together they are stronger to face the next day's struggle Together they are united in their belief in the hand of God Together they will find a way to survive the war.

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  • ebook
  • Irish Winter
  • John Simpson
  • English
  • 07 July 2016

10 thoughts on “Irish Winter

  1. says:

    This book annoys me in so many ways let me tell you about all of them First there is a terrible black and white morality All English are murdering psychopathic bastards who eat children and all IRA men are noble freedom fighters I don't expect a complex scale of greyness in a historical romance but would it have hurt to have one British soldier with some doubts on what they are doing or an IRA member who seems to enjoy killing a bit too much? There's moral ambiguity in a Wolfe Tones albumThe writing style is justweirdly inconsistent It starts with a few chapters of deep purple prose like really really purple some really strange phrases “Ian was never a supporter of violence He tended to see the beauty in all living things and war was the antithesis of that outlook” and people talking in completely unnatural sounding ways then jumps to a neutral writing style and everybody says “Aye me wee lad” A LOT and it keeps going back and forth between those two extremes giving us such beautiful sentences like “The gift of your virginity should be as pure and as beautiful as the heather in our Irish hills and not sullied by British blood”I might have broken down laughing after reading thatThe way the both MCs treat their homosexuality also shows a definite lack of imagination on the author's part Devlin oh what a beautiful Irish name has no problem accepting it at all and Ian another beautiful totally not anglicised name just mentions that he had noticed some feelings for boys but at school the pupils bullied others for 'seeming gay' so he just ignored these feelingsWe did mention that this book is set in Ireland in 1920 right? Because you know 'OMG people at school will hate me if I come out' is very much the reaction I expect from a teenager living in this day and age From somebody who lives in a time where homosexuality is illegal and in a country where the church who preaches that it's a sin and you will burn in hell for it is still a massive influence I expect a reaction along the lines of 'AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA'Generally they never seem to care about what could happen if other people find out about them there's just one point where they actually joke about what the local priest might say about that now that's a very liberal education in rural Ireland the priest is just a figure of ridicule and who the others might react if they learned about it Their comment is something along the lines of “Well then we'd see how much of a brotherhood the IRA really is' The IRA Known for their incomparable sense of humour and open mindednessBecause sometimes one facepalm isn't enough to convey the stupidityWe also get a healthy dose of misogyny There are only two female characters in the book the mothers of the two main characters Devlin's mother prostitutes herself and so does he But when he does it it's OK when his mother does it it's disgusting No really that are his thoughts at one point in the book Why? Oh well for reasonsIan's mother is admittedly just really badly written Nobody could actually be that stupid At the beginning Ian tells her that he has joined the IRA something she disapproves of so she tells him that it's wrong And he tells her he did it anyway and then she tells him that it was wrong and he tells her that it's done now and storms outand overall this conversation has all the excitement of a parent child conflict in a soap opera about staying out lateThen during the book Ian takes part in several IRA operations for which he sneaks out late at night A couple of times he get caught by his mother when he comes back home and makes up some ridiculous excuse Every time we get something along the lines of 'He saw that his mother knew he was lying but she had no idea what he had actually done and she didn't ask' She bloody knows that he's in the IRA What does she think do they do there? Knitting for Irish freedom?Now I know that this isn't some high brow historical novel but just a cheese little romance and perhaps just the romance part is good?WellnoYou see that would reuire that I could feel something for any of the characters involvedor just feel anything at any point of the novel apart from boredom and annoyance That would reuire that I learned about the character's feelings on than just a superficial level but we never do thatIn the opening chapter Ian witnesses how a young man and his mother are shoot by British soldiers just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time Now how can that NOT be turned in a moving scene? Right by just describing what's happening and throw in something along the lines of 'And Ian was really shocked by that' No description of the actual horror you would feel if something like this actually happened in front of your eyes No terror that they might continue shooting and hit you Just a neutral account of the event It was so bad that in the next chapter when Ian says that this is what made him want to join the IRA my first reaction was 'Duh Just that? That's a lame excuse' before I realized that it really wasn't but it was simply written in a way that it had zero emotional impact on me so I was surprised when it had some on the characterIt continues this way Ian and Devlin take part in IRA operations and they all get described just in a straightforward 'And they waited for the soldiers to arrive and they shot them and left' way there's almost no description of the impatience while waiting the chaos during the shootinganythingThe absolute high point of this is when they are in the football stadium during Bloody Sunday the other one where soldiers shot at the crow during a Gaelic Football match They arrive in the stadiumand then the narrative tells us 'Little did they know that right now Black and Tans were surrounding the stadium' and continues with a description of it taken out from a history textbookand then Ian Devlin and Shaun cardboard cutout IRA leader are at the train station and agree that this was horrible and that they need to kill British soldiersThat all takes about one pageone page Other authors could probably have written a whole book just centring on thator at least have a chapter full of chaos and confusion and 'Oh my God where are the others and what is happening here?'The developing relationship between the two is described with the same emotional depth They meet They like each other Devlin moves in with Ian because of an argument with his mother They have sex They still like each other They have sexHalfway through the book Devlin jokes 'We should really stay together I mean we're both gay I uite like you and the sex is really great' Now that is meant as a jokebut as reader I couldn't really give any other reasons because we weren't shown Towards the end Ian or was it Devlin? Honestly it was hard to tell them apart gives a long 'Oh I love you and everytime you leave the house I worry about you' speechwhy not show that to us? Why not have Ian impatiently pacing around at home trying to ignore all the dark thoughts about everything that could happen to Devlin out there?I could still go onabout the fact that both main characters are only childs which would have been highly unlikely about the fact that Ian and Sean cycle from Cork to Limerick over 100 km and back in an afternoon about all the stupid things they say and do and that should really have gotten them killedbut I still have other things to do for the rest of this day so I'll just stop here

  2. says:

    Anyone looking for a adventure story with thrills and spills anxious moments and a growing romance which blossoms in predictable fashion to a lasting love affair and sex no matter what thrills and spills going on around them will enjoy “Irish Winter” a lotHowever – if you know anything at all about Ireland and her history you probably will like me find it a frustrating readI bought the book because I have lived in Ireland for many years and I’m always eager to read about earlier times Having loved At Swim Two Boys I knew that nothing was going to come close to that but I was still eager for The characters aren’t bad They aren’t girly and that’s a major point in their favour They talk like young men they act like young men and they fuck like young men – there’s no lyrical descriptions and purple prose here just wham bam and get on with it–nothing wrong with that But they are very samey though and neither has their own distinct voice It was difficult at times to tell who was in control of the POV there’s a lot of headhopping and switching from third person to omniscient which doesn’t help with that I personally would have liked them to be their own personalities and that really didn’t come across The secondary characters such as Ian’s mother and Shane the leader of the local IRA cell come across wellBut it’s the history and the research which really really lets this book down I really wish people would leave this period of Irish history alone unless they really understand it I’ve lived there both sets of grandparents were Irish and I don’t think I would touch the subject with a bargepole Like Age of Sail there’s so much to itI’m not going to list everything that was wrong because that’s not the point of a review but I’ll mention a couple of the basic fundemental errors which should not have been done and even the basic amount of research would have highlighted themFirst of all Ian I did like him he’s – like many young men of the time – forced into the fight even though he abhors the violence on both sides But he’s a single child which is pretty unlikely for Catholic families So is his lover Devlin coincidentally They are “unaccustomed to sleeping with other boys” When I was in Ireland families still had two room cottages and all the children slept in one bed We are told that he’s poor dirt poor supporting his mother by working part time in an “apothecary” as an apprentice But he has jam every day his house has a porch this is so American houses in England and Ireland do NOT have porches and there’s no way he can be an apprentice chemist That’s the word after all Apothecary is from another time To be a trainee chemist and we are told he’s six months from ualification he’d have to have a degree and yet he doesn’t even know what laudanum is Apprenticeships for apothecaries were abolished in 1822 – and I found that in minutes – so that’s blatant nonsense for a startHis name is wrong There is no Ian in Roman Catholic Ireland He’d be Sean Many of the names are wrong – Kyle and Byron and Devlin for example – all American Irish names Boys of this age would have RC names and that means names of saints Spelled in an Irish fashion To not know that part of the basis of the problems between Ireland and England is the Scots And to attempt to write about the War of Independence proves a lack of researchThere’s no mention of church at all Impossible Shops are open on Sunday Pubs are open on Sunday No And on this matter the timeline staggers around like a drunk on a Saturday night It’s hard to keep track of when Ian is supposed to work for exampleIan bicycles from Cork to Limerick AND BACK a total distance of over 100 miles in a few hours I’d like to see someone do that today let alone in 1919And the Black and Tans – the paramilitary imports from the English army into the Royal Irish Constabulary – the main impetus for the entire plot of this book – didn’t even enter Ireland until a year LATER than this book is set In fact the facts of the war in this book are made up That’s not entirely unusual in a historical book of course – but when it comes to events such as this attacks on the Cork RIC garrison murders of civilians and reprisal killings of Black and Tans I’d rather have read real facts OR had an author’s note in the book explaining it I don’t think the “fits all” disclaimer that all books have works in this instanceThat’s not to say that the events portrayed in Irish Winter aren’t similar to what actually happened The Tans did terrible things killing civilians and burning villages and putting Tralee to siege for an entire week So in this respect it was clear that Simpson did do uite a lot of research – so I don’t know how he managed to cock up some of it so very royallyThe cover is bloody lovely although wtf was with putting the flag on it’s side?? and I know that Dreamspinner have their heart in the right place – they like historicals and that alone gets a thumbs up from me I just wish they had an editor who could sniff out the stuff that turns a good book into one that gets thrown across the room For that reason I’m giving this book two and half stars and because as a story it holds up There’s action and adventure and I think that with decent research or an tough editor this book would easily have scored four stars with me but as it is it doesn’t merit anything than two and a half

  3. says:

    The book tells Ian and Devlin's story from 1919 to 1924 the years during which Ireland fought for its independence from England Ian is an apothecary apprentice of only 19 years old; he doesn't really care for war or kill he wants to become an apothecary and make his own life in the world Ian is a uite guy probably even uite since it's years that he realized that he prefers the company of men but he has never acted upon his preferences He tries to be as average as possible and to not be seen in the crowd But when he witnesses to the assassination of a man and his old mother in the street to the hand of English soldiers he cannot hide no He offers his help to the IRA army and among the brotherhood he finds DevlinDevlin is only one years older than Ian and they know each other enough to greet on street but not enough to be considered friends they are on different level in life; Devlin's mother unofficially has a lot of boyfriends who visit her at night and on hers track Devlin started to find some odd works at night in the near cities with married men in dark alleyWhile Ian considers himself homosexual Devlin at first approaches Ian with a friends with benefits attitude Devlin likes both women and men and in this moment he likes Ian But he knows that the lad as he calls him is way inexperience than him and even if they deepen their relationship to an intimate level Devlin is reluctant to be fully involved for Ian's good than anything else But the years pass and the war worsens and both men realize that they are now not only friends and fellow soldiers but also loversDespite passing through really nasty moments Devlin and Ian are really young; they face the independence war with heart than brain they are not warriors sometime I read them like children with adult dresses Both of them follow something bigger than them and they are really lucky to always come out alive; they are not hero characters but supportersThe love story between them is nice the romantic minds should close the eyes in front of Devlin's side profession something he is forced to bring on sometime during his relationship with Ian he really has no choice; but I think that it respects his character and the time sincerely it's just enough of a pink glasses prospective for the two to be together without being also too moralist Maybe sometime I found the sex a bit too extreme nothing fancy mind you too much position other than the missionary and too much words in bed I don't know but sometime it felt forcefulAll in all a very nice and easy book to read with enough historical details which prove that the author has than a passing interest in the matter and a medium long novel that allows plenty of time for the reader to enjoy the charactershttpelisa rollelivejournalcom46

  4. says:

    35 starsIan and Devlin are young men in 1919 Ireland when they witness the tragic deaths of an IRA member and his mother Ian a 19 year old apprentice apothecary and Devlin a member of the IRA and a few years older than Ian are partnered when Ian joins the IRA The two uickly become friends and soon Devlin is staying over at Ian's in order to get away from an uncomfortable home lifeTimes are hard and there is very little money to be had for even basic necessities As they struggle to make enough to keep food on the table Ian becomes an active member of the IRA and together they start to take part in raids against British authority As they spend their days and nights together their relationship becomes even complicated as Ian and Devlin become casual lovers and then ultimately fall in loveThe slow progression of their love story from late 1919 to the spring of 1924 is set against a backdrop of violence and loss Throughout the story Ian struggles with his need to help his country get free from the oppressive British rule and the things he has to do do in order to make that happen Devlin on the other hand is pragmatic and doesn't have as hard a time picking up a gun and fightingI really liked both Ian and Devlin they are well developed as is their relationship with it's ups and downs as they fight for their country's freedom Ian is a nice young man a bit idealistic at times but with a firm determination to help as best he can Devlin is also a nice guy but he has seen and done in his life than Ian and those things have made him tougher although not hard or uncaring There are also several well written and interesting secondary characters in the storyWhile this is the story of Ian and Devlin it's also the story of the struggle of the Irish people to get out from under the domination of the British rule The story at times feels almost like a history lesson as John Simpson gives a lot of detail of the IRA's operations during that time and there is a lot of care taken to give the feeling of the time period Ian and Devlin also have to contend with society's views on homosexuality so they must always be careful to present themselves as friends onlyThere is uite a bit of violence in this story beginning with the killings in chapter one and continuing throughout the book as well as a small torture scene If that kind of violence isn't for you than you may not like this story If you don't have a problem with that then I would recommend this surprisingly well written interesting and engaging love story set amidst a bloody and turbulent time in the history of the Irish people

  5. says:

    I give this story four stars with the bulk of my stars going towards the romance side of the story and the rest to the 'moral' lessons withinThis was a difficult story to get hooked into until about 4 chapters inI came into this with zero knowledge of the IRA The time frame of the story taking place in 1919 into the early 1920's in another country was also a hurtle for me to crossBut when I took the story a part looking at the characters their plight following their losses and growth over the years and then watching them falling in love with each other it made the story worth putting up with the war JargonThis book does not glorify war but it does have battle scene with loss and victories It challenges the reader to look at the 'good' and 'bad' sides to going to war for a cause and killingThe author does a good job in describing the setting of the story making it easier for me to visualize Ireland in 1919 The romance was in my view too slow to come but when it does kick in it is hot and steamyI felt the story wrapped up with a decent but still open endingI would be willing to read works from this author Hoping for less war stories but the same kind of romance D

  6. says:

    I liked Irish Winter Ian and Devlin meet after watching a young man and his mother shot in cold blood by the RIC Joining the IRA Ira is often partnered with Devlin whom he has been attracted to for years They become close and can admit to each other they are homosexuals and are attracted to each other The feeling of the times are captured in Irish Winter It makes me want to learn about Irish history There are times when Mr Simpson steps out of the story to give us a brief history of what is happening in Ireland to rouse the Irish to its hatred of the British That interferred with the flow of Ian and Devlin's story but I'm glad I read this

  7. says:

    I really wanted to like this book but I never really bonded with the characters It was suppose to be a love story of two men in the midst of a revolution but the love story was never fully developed I did not love the story but I also did not hate it It was a an ok read but I won't be reading this story again

  8. says:

    Very original story about two boys recruited for the IRA that fall in love in the middle of war Too short for the enormous idea that hides behind the whole IRA story I would have appreciated a little bit of IRA adoctrinizing but it's all for the boys and they are good boys so it can be excusedLovely to read all the same

  9. says:

    MM romance and Irish rebels what's not to love? Grand so

  10. says:

    This had such potential but was a total fail for me Parts read like a history text I didn't connect with the characters at all Too bad because I wanted to like it but no

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