SONS OF THUNDER by Barbera Vroman


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Peasant lass is caught between a lord-of-the-manor and an Irish patriot, circa 1797--in a familiar but well-researched and lively melodrama of the Irish rebellion. This heroine is orphan Siobonna Covington, whose late father's mistress--alcoholic Letty, a Dublin prostitute--decides to introduce the young beauty to society . . . by way of Marietta, Duchess of Farleigh. And soon Siobonna, all dressed up by Marietta, is indeed a hit with the beautiful people--especially Lord Peter Randall. But when Lord Peter and Siobonna head for the Randall estate--to meet Peter's hideous mum--their carriage is stopped by fugitive patriot Jery Kilpatrick of the United Irish Patriots . . . who seems to have a special camaraderie with Lord P. Could it be that the lord is really part of the rebel doings? And is that why he disappears, leaving poor Siobonna on the verge of debtor prison (believing she's been thrown over)? Siobonna is in a quandary, of course--especially when Duchess Marietta (based on the historical Duchess of Coventry) commits grisly suicide, leaving her Duke without a wife. Should Siobonna wed the Duke, whom she finds cold and cruel? Or should she stay true to Peter, who is, in fact, dying in Newgate Prison? And what of her love for noble Jery--who turns her away out of friendship for Lord Peter? All this is fairly well-handled; Vroman does less well, however, with a message-y subplot about a Young priest trying to find a middle ground between Irish non-violence and submission. But overall it's a serviceably romantic reworking of the Irish Rebellion--nothing on the order of Thomas Flanagan's Year of the French, but earnestly put together, from a moderate pro-rebel viewpoint.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1981
Publisher: Pearl-Win Publishing (Box 300U, Hancock, WI 54943)