Nory Ryan’s Song

Title: Nory Ryan’s Song
Author: Patricia Reilly Giff
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9780440418290
Rating: 2/5 Stars



Although the plot of this book looked promising, the audio book falls far short of the exciting story imagined in a reader’s mind.  Although the reader will enjoy the Irish accents of the narrator, her lilt morphs into more of a monotonous drum as the book progresses.  After a slow start, the author attempts to bring to life the emotion of a poor, Irish family whose members navigate the potato famine of Ireland summoning the will to survive.  The details of digging up the black potatoes, the pains of hunger, and the frustration towards the English endear the reader to the suffering characters of Ireland.  Giff lays a great foundation for an interesting series; one uncommonly addressing the plight of the poor Irish during the tragic potato famine.  Where will they end up?  That is the question the reader will wonder as every page turns, up until the end of the book.

Review Excerpt:

As narrator, her voice is melodious. As character, she heightens the pathos of the times–the whine of young Patch as he begs for food, the desperation of Nory as she climbs for bird eggs on a cliff, the horror of Sean and Nory as they see streams of people coming to their beach to gather limpets and mussels, the conviction of Anna that she will be happy when her neighbors leave for America. The combination of Giff’s story and Lynch’s voice creates a memorable listening experience. -audiofile review


After reading this book, students should compare the emotions brought about by the Irish potato famine to those endured by Joseph’s family during the Egyptian famine of Biblical times.


2014. “Nory Ryan’s Song.” Books In Print. Ebsco.

Amazon. 2014. “Breaking Stalin’s Nose.”

Eugene Yelchin Books. 2014. “Breaking Stalin’s Nose.”

Audioflie. 2001. “Nory Ryan’s Song.”

Yelchin, Eugene. 2011. Breaking Stalin’s Nose. New York: Square Fish.


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