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The Connellys of County Down by Tracey Lange

Contemporary fiction

The Connellys of County Down

Repeat author

Tracey Lange is back at Book of the Month – other BOTMs include We Are the Brennans.

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This is an early release that's only available to our members—the rest of the world has to wait to read it.

by Tracey Lange

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Quick Take

In this moving tale about forgiveness, loyalty, and love’s limits, one family tries to keep it together, together.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Emotional

    Emotional

  • Illustrated icon, Multiple_Viewpoints

    Multiple viewpoints

  • Illustrated icon, Inspirational

    Inspirational

  • Illustrated icon, Family_Drama

    Family drama

Synopsis

When Tara Connelly is released from prison after serving eighteen months on a drug charge, she knows rebuilding her life at thirty years old won’t be easy. With no money and no prospects, she returns home to live with her siblings, who are both busy with their own problems. Her brother, a single dad, struggles with the ongoing effects of a brain injury he sustained years ago, and her sister’s fragile facade of calm and order is cracking under the burden of big secrets. Life becomes even more complicated when the cop who put her in prison keeps showing up unannounced, leaving Tara to wonder what he wants from her now.

While she works to build a new career and hold her family together, Tara finds a chance at love in a most unlikely place. But when the Connellys’ secrets start to unravel and threaten her future, they all must face their worst fears and come clean, or risk losing each other forever.

The Connellys of County Down is a moving novel about testing the bounds of love and loyalty. It explores the possibility of beginning our lives anew, and reveals the pitfalls of shielding each other from the bitter truth.

Why I love it

I love books about messy family dynamics. The Connellys of County Down takes us back to the heart and soul of this genre: three siblings with their family baggage in tow under one roof, fighting to make their lives just that little bit better every day.

The book opens on Tara Connelly being released from prison. She didn’t expect any fanfare—okay, maybe at least a car ride home?—but she returns to a house already filled with other people’s problems. Her brother, who suffered a brain injury years before, is still struggling to hold down work as a single parent. Her sister is an anxiety ridden compulsive shopper and secretive about her job in a way that raises eyebrows. And the cop who arrested Tara can’t seem to leave her alone...

There’s a quote I highlighted the first time I read this book that I think perfectly encapsulates what makes it so special: “The most honest words didn’t have to be loud or dramatic to cut deep.” Tracey Lange writes with an incredible emotional honesty that makes her characters shine; she also beautifully depicts the day-to-day interactions between loved ones that are imbued with meaning through years of trust and anguish. The Connellys of County Down is so full of heart, and its wonderful message about compassion and forgiveness will stay with me for a long time.

Contemporary fiction
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The Leftover Woman
Interesting Facts about Space
Bye, Baby
Swan Song
How to Read a Book
The Connellys of County Down
Joe Nuthin’s Guide to Life
A Summer Affair
Adelaide
The Collected Regrets of Clover
Evil Eye
Maame
Advika and the Hollywood Wives
Once There Were Wolves
We Are the Brennans
Olga Dies Dreaming
If Only I Could Tell You
How Lucky
My Dark Vanessa
Nine Perfect Strangers
Honey Girl
One Italian Summer
Eight Hundred Grapes
The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes
The Five-Star Weekend
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto
The Nest
Rich and Pretty
Britt-Marie Was Here
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
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The Identicals
The Dinner List
Goodbye, Paris
Winter in Paradise
A Woman Is No Man
Queenie
Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Beyond the Point
What Happens in Paradise
Nothing to See Here
When We Were Vikings
Anxious People
A Good Neighborhood
Big Summer
The Last Story of Mina Lee
Troubles in Paradise
White Ivy
This Close to Okay
The Removed
The Kindest Lie
Good Company
Impostor Syndrome
The Other Black Girl
Apples Never Fall
A Quiet Life
We Are the Light
The Fortunes of Jaded Women
When We Were Bright and Beautiful
The Hotel Nantucket
Contemporary fiction
View all
The Last Love Note
Anita de Monte Laughs Last
The Leftover Woman
Interesting Facts about Space
Bye, Baby
Swan Song
How to Read a Book
The Connellys of County Down
Joe Nuthin’s Guide to Life
A Summer Affair
Adelaide
The Collected Regrets of Clover
Evil Eye
Maame
Advika and the Hollywood Wives
Once There Were Wolves
We Are the Brennans
Olga Dies Dreaming
If Only I Could Tell You
How Lucky
My Dark Vanessa
Nine Perfect Strangers
Honey Girl
One Italian Summer
Eight Hundred Grapes
The Unraveling of Cassidy Holmes
The Five-Star Weekend
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto
The Nest
Rich and Pretty
Britt-Marie Was Here
Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk
Startup
The Identicals
The Dinner List
Goodbye, Paris
Winter in Paradise
A Woman Is No Man
Queenie
Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Beyond the Point
What Happens in Paradise
Nothing to See Here
When We Were Vikings
Anxious People
A Good Neighborhood
Big Summer
The Last Story of Mina Lee
Troubles in Paradise
White Ivy
This Close to Okay
The Removed
The Kindest Lie
Good Company
Impostor Syndrome
The Other Black Girl
Apples Never Fall
A Quiet Life
We Are the Light
The Fortunes of Jaded Women
When We Were Bright and Beautiful
The Hotel Nantucket