Hungry Trails - trailer
Video by White Rabbit Arts at The Historical Fiction Company
- "Hungry Trails by Máire Malone receives five stars and the “Highly Recommended” award
of excellence from The Historical Fiction Company" *****
Please click on the pdf icon to read the full review.
- "In Máire Malone’s second book, her sympathetic writing conveys with stark clarity the privations suffered by many Irish families in the 1840s, firstly at the hands of avaricious landlords who raised rents for poor quality housing to unsustainable levels and drove families into debt; many were evicted from their homes, which were then usually destroyed, so poor was their construction. The circumstances of evicted families was made much worse by the potato blight epidemics that destroyed their subsistence potato crops in the 1840s. The choice left to many people was then the workhouse or emigration to the New World. Although the latter held promise, it was difficult to raise the money for the fare to get there and also difficult to reach the embarkation port, which often involved a long walk carrying all of their meagre belongings. As if that were not enough, the conditions on the boats that crossed the Atlantic were appalling. Máire Malone’s descriptions of life for the Foley family is so clear that the reader is drawn right into the events described and lives alongside the emigrating family. There is much tragedy in the fictional story of the Foley family, the background to which has been diligently researched, but also moments of happiness. The book is so soundly based that it can be taken as an accurate historical record."
Review by Ken Evans
I am delighted to post an accurate review of Hungry Trails which was sent to me by Ken Evans. Ken has expert knowledge on potato pests and diseases and has published extensively in this subject area. He read my book and emailed this to me. He has granted me permission to use on my website.
- "The harrowing details of events as they happened during the Irish famine years are starkly portrayed in this engrossing story. And it is as if the reader walks with Julie on her journey from her beloved homeland where she witnesses the desperate struggle for survival endured by her neighbours and fellow travellers as they risk the appalling journey to Canada. This is a story of hope and kindness as Julie is helped along the way. An unforgettable work deserving of its place in the ranks of Irish literature. I look forward to the next episode of Julie’s story."
Review of Hungry Trails by Kathleen Boyle on 3rd January 2023