on October 7, 2014 (first published 1999)
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Also in this series: Jewels of the Sun
Book Two of the Gallaghers of Ardmore Trilogy
High above the tidy village of Ardmore on a windy cliff, there is magic and music in the air, and #1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts will help you find it…
A talented songwriter, Shawn Gallagher spends his days lost in reverie and wonder, oblivious to the wiles of women and the ways of the world. He claims that he’s content with his life, but his music tells a different story — one of loneliness and desperate longing…
No one understands why Shawn doesn’t put his musical gift to profitable use — least of all Brenna O’Toole, a fiercely independent tomboy who has been secretly in love with him for years. But it is only when Shawn gives in to the mysteries of magic that he gets the chance to fulfill his destiny as a man and a musician.
Tears of the Moon is the second in the Gallaghers of Ardmore series, and my second favorite. I didn’t understand or relate as well to Brenna, with her hardheaded practicality and feisty, somewhat prickly nature, as I had to Jude in the first book, but I liked her anyway. Brenna has a soft heart inside, but she guards it well, even from herself. There were scenes that had me laughing, and scenes that had me wincing at her inability to see what was in her heart, or understand the whole of Shawn’s.
It’s rare that I can put myself into the hero’s shoes more easily than into the heroine’s, but in this book, I felt much more kinship with Shawn than with Brenna, mostly because of the place music has in his life. It’s not just important to him; it’s his life: it’s at the very heart of him. He’s a songwriter—a poet and bard—as well as an inspired cook. Shawn and Brenna may seem totally mismatched, but there’s a deep bond of friendship, of shared experiences, that both links them together and makes them blind to what they can and do mean to each other. Shawn is the blindest initially, but also the first to see clearly.
The sense of place that Roberts evokes is compelling, and as necessary to the story in its way as Shawn and Brenna, Aiden, Jude, and Darcy. Ireland is in the bones, the marrow, of the narrative, as it is in the bones and marrow of the characters themselves. The threads of magic and faerie that wove through the first book continue in this one, intertwined with the timeless character of Ardmore and more modern elements such as trans-Atlantic business deals. The Gallagher siblings and their pub are front and center; we see a lot more of the relationships between them, the family loyalties and good-natured rivalries, as they work a deal with an American investor that will bring major changes to the pub and the village. If you look closely, there are strong hints of what’s to come in the third book, when Aiden and Shawn’s sister Darcy takes the stage.
One of the only things I have trouble with with in this series is the easy acceptance of casual, relatively goodnatured violence — brawling or punches, even between friends, siblings, or lovers. I know that it is as much a part of the Irish experience (at least in the past) as music, dancing, and drinking, but as someone who was raised Quaker (a faith which preaches and practices nonviolence), I still consider violence a last resort. I’m baffled by the concept of hitting someone you like. Like Jude in the first book, it’s not part of my experience, and never something to aspire to. So I’m a little uncomfortable with it even in fictional form. . . but I try to think of it as a cultural difference, which helps. Thankfully, It hasn’t affected my wholehearted enjoyment of the series, although I’ve shaken my head over one or two scenes in each book.
Speaking of enjoyment, I devoured both this book and the first, and I’ve just started the third book. Review coming soon!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
- Take Control of Your TBR Pile Challenge (March 2017)
- The Backlist Reader Challenge 2017