Having read and thoroughly loved Tracey Lange’s debut novel, WE ARE THE BRENNANS, I was excited to get my hands on her new novel, THE CONNELLYS OF COUNTY DOWN. Lange has again written a book about a family that has problems, but is united in love for each other. The book opens with Tara, a former art teacher, being released from prison after serving time for transporting drugs. She is returning home to her family consisting of an older sister, Geraldine, who runs the show, her older brother Eddie, who suffered an injury which has lingering brain trauma, and his ten-year-old son, Conor. Their mother passed away, and their dad is estranged from the family. Add to this picture,the cop who arrested Tara just happens to be at the prison and gives her a ride home.
I was a little frustrated with how slowly the story seemed to develop; however, around the thirty-five percent mark, it picked up and I found myself thoroughly engaged. I loved how Conor was called on to interject a joke when someone was out of sorts. I loved how this story came together in the end. I might have shed some tears several times! I do wish there had been an epilogue added—maybe five or ten years in the future. Or, could we see these characters in a sequel. My thanks to Celadon Books, Bookishfirst, and NetGalley for an ARC of this book. The opinions in this review are my own.