Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Callahans: The Complete Series by Grodon Ryan - Review

Volume I - Destiny: Fleeing an abusive father and a hopeless life in Ireland in 1895, nineteen-year-old Tom Callahan takes passage on a ship bound for America. On board, he meets Katrina Hansen, a young Norwegian woman traveling to Utah. It's not a likely match. The brash Irishman is a Catholic, a brawler and a young man without prospects. Katrina is a refined young woman, yet naive in the ways of the world. Lured into a polygamus marriage, she finds herself abandoned on a remote Mexican beach as the man she loves, unaware of her status, seeks his fortune in Alaska. Destiny is a sprawling historical novel set at the turn of the 19th century, played out in such far-flung places as New York City, the gold fields of Alaska and Old Mexico.

Volume II - Conflict: Tom Callahan strikes it rich in the Alaska goldfield while Katrina struggles to remain alive in Mexico. Demonstrating her determination and faith, the reader is shown the resilience of this young woman who has grown beyond her years.. Continuing through 1912 and the disastrous voyage of HMS Titanic. Conflict will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Volume III - Reunion: It's 1917 and the American has entered World War I. Tom and Katie's son, in an effort to prove his worth to his father, has joined what President Woodrow Wilson is calling - the fight to make the world safe for democracy -. As the war ends, Tommy is selected for appointment to the Naval Academy, while his father is arrested and imprisoned in Ireland for gun running in the great Irish Civil War. Set against turbulent events in world history and filled with vivid scenes as well as tender emotions. Reunion takes the reader around the world.

Volume IV - Prelude: Tom and Katrina Callahan continue their story in the years between the two world wars. Their three children have grown up and are making their way in a world that is propelling itself toward World War II. Tess has her heart set on a Hollywood movie career; PJ is a successful sheep rancher in New Zealand and Tommy is pursuing his career in the Marine Corps and leaning not only about war, but about the perils of romance. When Tommy finds himself in England prior to WWII, Winston Churchill calls on him to examine the economic growth of the German nation as they secretly prepare for war.

Volume V - Reprisal: Continuing the series into WWII as Marine Corps Liutenant Colonel Thomas Callahan III faces personal tragedy during the Blitz in London as the war presents a very personal face. As he leaves his Embassy post to return to the United States, America joins Europe in the worldwide conflagration. For the second time in his young life, the son of Thomas and Katrina Callahan finds himself immersed in front-line battle, torn between his duty and the love of a beautiful woman who desires only his safety.

The conclusion of The Callahans will leave you enthralled as the children and grandchildren of a once-young Irish immigrant and his Norwegian bride leave their mark upon the world.


I will say that this is the longest book I have ever read I think, of course I have read many series that if put together would be this long if not longer. Since it was put all together I thought I would never get finished, but I never gave up, that must tell me that I enjoyed the story. I do not enjoy reading about history without it being a story and personalized by using some characters that draw you in. I will say that I skimmed over some of the history details, descriptive type sections, as that is not my 'cup of tea'. If you are a history buff you will really like this book. I did like the way Gordon followed one family throughout the entire book and I really appreciated how he kept bringing Tom and Katrina's faith and their love and dependence on each other to the front throughout the book. I read this on my Kindle, see the Author's Note below.

The Callahans: The Complete Series, in five volumes, is available in one Kindle book at Amazon with a discount price below the five separate novels.

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