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I absolutely love going into the library and running my hand along a random row of books, then stopping at any given point to pluck out a book that I've never looked at before. Providing the book doesn't look too boring, I'll check it out and hope for the best. It's a great way to discover new authors. The latest time I did this, I struck gold. I landed on The Brothers' Lot, a book set in Ireland by author Kevin Holohan. I'd not heard of Holohan before, but I am a huge fan of Irish literature, so was very happy to go with this. I can now confirm that it's probably the best randomly selected book I've ever read!
The Brothers' Lot tells the story of the Brothers of Godly Coercion School for Young Boys, combining the stories of the Brothers and also the students there. The school is under threat - the reason behind which we do not immediately know - and one of the Brothers appears to be acting in an abnormal manner as his obsession with longing for a miracle takes over him. Meanwhile, Finbar and his family have moved to the area. Will he be singled out for his knowledge and willingness to learn, or is he to fall into the wrong crowd? And just how will this affect his family?
I was amazed at how quickly I warmed to the story. While I knew I would enjoy at least some elements of it due to the Irish Catholic nature, I didn't think I'd love it as much as I did. The plot unfolds beautifully, with all of the separate protagonists' tales coming together nicely. The characters are all believable, and develop as necessary to allow their plots to grow. I have absolutely zero complains with both the pace of the plot and its development, and also how the characters slot into the story as it progresses.
One thing I loved about this, other than the luscious Irishness that it projects, is the fact that it helps me learn Gaelic! I'm in a slow process of learning Irish Gaelic, and this book has allowed me to pick up a few phrases. My favourite one - you will be able to tell from the title of this review - is "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit", which made its way into the book in Gaelic: In ainm an Athar, agus an Mhic, agus an Spioraid Naomh. (I believe it is also Latin, the two languages combining there.) It's definitely educational!
As I said, this was a library book for me. However, it can be purchased, brand new in paperback, on Amazon.co.uk for £5.99. Released in just August of 2011, this is a wonderful price for such a newly released and enthralling book. You can, of course,buy it for a little less if you get it second hand. Either way, I definitely recommend that you try and get your hands on a copy! Amazon.co.uk does not bring up any other results for Kevin Holohan other than this one, but I am hoping that he will be writing a lot more soon! I loved The Brothers' Lot, and hope to read more like it soon.