Smorgasbord Book Reviews – Mahoney by Andrew Joyce

There are some books that engage you from the first page to the last and Mahoney by Andrew Joyce manages that to perfection.

About Mahoney

In this compelling, richly researched novel, author Andrew Joyce tells a story of determination and grit as the Mahoney clan fights to gain a foothold in America. From the first page to the last, fans of Edward Rutherford and W. Michael Gear will enjoy this riveting, historically accurate tale of adventure, endurance, and hope.

In the second year of An Gorta Mhór—the Great Famine—nineteen-year-old Devin Mahoney lies on the dirt floor of his small, dark cabin. He has not eaten in five days. His only hope of survival is to get to America, the land of milk and honey. After surviving disease and storms at sea that decimate crew and passengers alike, Devin’s ship limps into New York Harbor three days before Christmas, 1849. Thus starts an epic journey that will take him and his descendants through one hundred and fourteen years of American history, including the Civil War, the Wild West, and the Great Depression.

My review for Mahoney.

There are an estimated 76 million people around the world who claim Irish ancestry with around 42 million in the United States. I am one of those with origins in County Cork at the time of the Great Famine.

This makes Mahoney a must read for all whose roots lie in this small island republic with only a population of 4.5 million today. The first chapters are chilling as we read of the devastating  famine, and the treatment by the British, of the already impoverished Irish in those years. But it does lay the foundation for the story that follows, and demonstrates the courage, perseverance and creativity required to start a new life from scratch.

A new life of opportunity was promised in a land that was still in its infancy. Getting there in a Coffin Ship was hazardous. Setting foot in the new land was almost as tough as the one left behind, especially if you were Irish. But you cannot keep a good man down, and Devin Mahoney, descended from the High Kings of Ireland, is such a man. He has to navigate the prejudice and poverty just for the privilege of taking the lowest paid and most back-breaking work, building the new nation’s infrastructure that is about to be torn apart by civil war. We relive those desperate years through Devin’s letters home to his wife as he continues to fight against injustice.

In part two of Mahoney, we meet Dillon who carries the same determination and drive to succeed as his father. The vastness of America beckons and over the following years, Dillon explores the west and experiences the life of a cowboy and gunslingers, before heading to California in search of his fortune.

In part three, the next generation of Mahoneys is in the hands of David. Having been raised with plenty, he finds it hard to relate to his heritage, preferring to immerse himself in the pre-crash high life in New York. But all good things come to an end, and that is when the Mahoney blood within his veins is needed to bring him redemption and new path in life.

The book was riveting from start to finish, painstakingly researched, with wonderfully developed characters that are fascinating to walk beside. There is sorrow and anger at the deprivation, but deep respect for those who are forced to leave their homes to find sanctuary, and a safe place to bring up their families. Not just from Europe but those suffering from prejudice and deprivation in the deep south of America. There is plenty of adventure as well as interesting secondary characters, both good and evil, to keep your attention.

I highly recommend that you read the book and for just a few minutes, imagine your own family history, and how your ancestors overcame their struggles to enable you to enjoy all that you have today.

Read the reviews and buy the book:

And on Amazon UK:

Also by Andrew Joyce

Read the reviews and buy all the books:

And Amazon UK:

Find more reviews and follow Andrew on Goodreads:

61uytgjxb0l-_ux250_About Andrew Joyce.

Andrew Joyce left home at seventeen to hitchhike throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico. He wouldn’t return from his journey until years later when he decided to become a writer. Joyce has written seven books. His first novel, Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, was awarded the Editors’ Choice Award for Best Western of 2013. A subsequent novel, Yellow Hair, received the Book of the Year award from Just Reviews and Best Historical Fiction of 2016 from Colleen’s Book Reviews.

Joyce now lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts.

Connect to Andrew on social media


Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will head over and buy Andrew’s book. Thanks Sally.

28 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Book Reviews – Mahoney by Andrew Joyce

  1. Wonderful review, Sally, of a wonderful book. I know that, if I had not already read it, I’d be heading over to Amazon right now! (And kudos to Andrew Joyce, who deserves such reviews for the meticulous research he does that enables him to tell his fantastic stories with such authenticity.)

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  3. I have read a few of Andrew Joyce’s books and found them all to be fascinating. He does extensive research to make his stories realistic and interesting. I have Mahoney on my TBR list and look forward to reading it soon. Kudos to this talented author! Thank you, Sally, for this lovely post. Hugs xx to you both.

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