A sigh of satisfaction escaped my lips as I finally put this book down. With a plot as meandering as an Irish country road, The Last Storyteller, this final book in the Venetia Kelly trilogy, is a deeply satiating read. From the first page Delaney pulls you into the old Ireland — the humor, the poetry of the vernacular, the poverty, the ability to always pull through and laugh at everyone.
This book goes deeper into Ben’s personal struggles, and throughout the book he examines and questions his actions over the years. We follow him around the Irish countryside and meet those closest to him — those he has allowed to come close — and get to know them better. We also find out what happens when he meets Venetia again and how that emotional mess of a love story ends.
As in the other books, fiction lives within fiction, almost like a dream within a dream, and we are fortunate enough to hear some of the secrets of the seanchaí, the Irish storyteller. The reader is caught up in the mystical, mythical quality of the legends as they are told, and then wonders how the story of Ben will play out if/when told by the seanchaí.
Delaney’s writing, yet again, reaches deep into the soul and he produces words from his mind that allow the story to dance and sing and mourn and weep. I wanted to stop and highlight some of his words, but didn’t want to stop reading — “I was shivering like a wet child,” “the long, quiet lane ended at his house,” and “and still came the rain, so heavy that I could have sucked it off the windshield” — just wonderful heart-warming writing that makes a hungry reader happy. If you have to choose between buying this and your next meal, buy this — it’s more of a meal and far more filling.
- The Last Storyteller (fillingspaces.wordpress.com)