The American Girl is the latest novel written by author and RTE broadcaster Rachel English and her best to date.

Reviewed by Cathy McCafferty

Author and broadcaster Rachel English

Author and broadcaster Rachel English

As many of you already know, Shannon was home to Rachel during her formative years and her mum and dad still live here. Now she has a prominent position with the national broadcaster and, better still, is a wonderful story teller.

The American Girl is one of those books that is impossible to put down and is a real page-turner. It engages the reader so much and draws you in, that you just don’t want the story to end. The novel spans three generations featuring a mother, grandmother and granddaughter. It also skips between Boston, Clare and Dublin.

I won’t spoil the plot for anyone as this is something you should pick up and read for yourself. I can tell you that the novel begins in 1968 with 17-year-old Rose, a bright and intelligent young woman living in Boston who is pregnant and in love.

Ambitious parents climbing the social ladder in Boston feel threatened that Rose will bring shame on the family. Her father brings Rose to Ireland, against her will, to a Mother and Baby home in a rural Clare convent.

Jump forward to Dublin 2013 where Martha Sheeran is seeing her world fall apart after her husband leaves. Urged on by her teenage daughter, Martha begins a quest to find the woman who gave her up for adoption more 40 years ago.

The American Girl is available in all good book stores. Buy a copy for yourself and I hope you get as much enjoyment from it as I did.

Rachel English came to live in Shannon with her parents as a young girl. Educated in St Conaire’s NS and St Patrick’s Comprehensive, she graduated from Dublin University. Rachel now works with RTE Radio 1 and is a familiar voice on Morning Ireland, the daily news and current affairs programme.

I cannot recommend The American Girl highly enough. It is such an emotional and inspirational read and I am am looking forward to Rachel’s next project, which I am told she has already started to write. Buy the book and enjoy, the fact that it’s written by a successful local broadcaster and author is just a wonderful bonus!