Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show: A Novel of Ireland
- Binding: Hardcover
- Author: Frank Delaney
- Publish Date: 2010-02-23
âShe sprang from the womb and waved to the crowd. Then smiled and took a bow.â And so we first meet Venetia Kelly, the beguiling actress at the center of this new, spellbinding, and epic novel by Frank Delaney, the bestselling author ofÂ Ireland and Shannon.
January 1932: While Ireland roils in the run-up to the most important national election in the Republicâs short history, Ben MacCarthy and his father watch a vagabond variety revue making a stop in the Irish countryside. After a two-hour kaleidoscope of low comedy, Shakespearean recitations, juggling, tumbling, and other entertainments, Benâs father, mesmerized by Venetia Kelly, the troupeâs magnetic headliner, makes a fateful decision: to abandon his family and set off on the road with Miss Kelly and her caravan. Benâs mother, shattered by the desertion, exhorts, âFind him and bring him back,â thereby sending the boy on a Homeric voyage into manhood, a quest that traverses the churning currents of Irelandâs fractious society and splinters the MacCarthy family.
Interweaving historical figures including W. B. Yeats, and a host of unforgettable creationsââKingâ Kelly, Venetiaâs violent, Mephistophelean grandfather; Sarah Kelly, Venetiaâs mysterious, amoral mother; and even a truth-telling ventriloquistâs dummy named BlarneyâFrank Delaney unfurls a splendid narrative that spans half the world and a tumultuous, eventful decade.
Teeming with intrigue, pathos, and humor, Venetia Kellyâs Traveling Show explores two of Irelandâs great national passions: theater and politics. Writing with his signature mastery and lyrical prose, Frank Delaney once again delivers an unforgettable story as big and boisterous as the people and events it chronicles.