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Connie McKinney, Binghamton, NY: “A Sudden Gift of Fate” takes readers on a roller coaster ride filled with plot twists and turns and more than a few surprises. Readers will find it hard to put this book down.
This book is a fitting sequel to Mary Pat Hyland’s first novel “The Cyber Miracles.” Maeve, Andy, Fergal, Bridgeen and the rest of the cast return for another adventure which plays out on both sides of the Atlantic. Even Dom Dellapenta, Maeve’s former college classmate and crusty ex-editor, makes a cameo appearance here. All of the characters are so well developed that they seem like real people.
“A Sudden Gift of Fate” is filled with detailed descriptions of Ireland, Belgium and New York’s Finger Lakes region. Readers can see the sun setting on Cayuga Lake, hear the Irish reels played at Fergal and Bridgeen’s wedding and smell the salt rising from the sea at Galway Bay.
The book’s plot is fast-paced and filled with suspense – a real page-turner. This is a terrific book for anyone who enjoys a good story.
Ingrid Jordak, Lisle, N.Y.: A Sudden Gift of Fate, Mary Pat Hyland’s sequel to The Cyber Miracles, continues the stories of Maeve, Andy, Fergal and Bridgeen in the beautiful setting of upstate New York. This endearing foursome, that so many readers of the first book fell in love with, face new challenges with Irish wit and a generally upbeat outlook on life. They’re a group of friends that anyone would want to hang out with.
Set largely in Binghamton and on Keuka Lake, the novel takes the reader through the trials and tribulations of starting up a winery and an organic bakery with a pro-small-business environmental consciousness and an emphasis on the local agriculture and organic food movements. The dialogue sometimes makes you laugh out loud and often makes you smile.
A Sudden Gift of Fate is a fun and fast read. The next step is for both novels to appear on the silver screen where they can give My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Under the Tuscan Sun a run for the money.
Mary Pat Tuxbury, author, Florence, Montana: Pour a glass of wine and sit down by the fire; the scéalaí, (storyteller), is in the house.
A Sudden Gift of Fate, by Mary Pat Hyland, is pure dead brilliant. Hyland takes you on a read from the west of Ireland to New York state in this fast-paced novel.
Fergal and Brídgeen Griffin are newlyweds planning a quiet life in Ireland, when wealthy cousin Colm, gifts them a failed winery in upstate New York. With only their Irish charm, they arrive at the Finger Lakes to start anew.
Maeve Kenny, on the other hand, has a life of uncertainty. Her love interest, Andy Krall, is not only younger, but is wheelchair-bound from a spinal cord injury. Brídgeen and Maeve share a long-standing friendship. Their sisterhood keeps them hopeful for tomorrow as they make their way through each day.
Maeve’s stormy highs and lows give her cause to cross paths with multifarious characters, who give her insights about life. Each story brings something to her soul which she adds to her knowledge to find the strength and inner peace to carry on.
A Sudden Gift of Fate is a sequel to Hyland’s novel, The Cyber Miracles. The author’s fast-paced journalistic style keeps the reader turning pages. The use of Irish language brings the lilt needed to round out the persistent dark humor and pragmatism found in Irish speakers.
***** A Sudden Gift of Fate – A (Grape) Smashing Success!, October 17, 2009
|By||Anne Woodard (Ithaca, NY)
I have eagerly been awaiting the arrival of “A Sudden Gift of Fate”, the sequel to Mary Pat Hyland’s first novel, “The Cyber Miracles”! I especially was interested in finding out how she would weave New York’s Finger Lakes wine country into her new book. Not only has she successfully captured the spirit and excitement of the Finger Lakes wine industry, she has given us a glimpse as to what goes on behind the scenes in producing award-winning wines! Each chapter starts with a short description of the grapes used in winemaking and their history!
With the beautiful Finger Lakes setting as a backdrop, Hyland weaves stories of the 2 main couples from her first novel into 2 compelling story lines that gracefully move in and out of each other as they follow each couple through their joys, frustrations, and celebrations. The theme of HOPE is central to both storylines and blends the stories together as if they were ingredients in one of Maeve’s bakery treats.
As many of the characters in this book are from Ireland, Hyland’s command of Gaelic is a definite plus in her book, and conversations flow easily and naturally. Her knowledge of Irish customs provides a great source of backdrops for various scenes in the book. This coupled with her hands on knowledge of the Finger Lakes region makes for very believable situations and conversations!
I literally could not put this book down. It moved at a good pace, and held my interest from start to finish. I loved the characters, both the new and the old, and genuinely missed reading about them when the book was done. This book is another stellar offering from Hyland…I can’t wait for the next book in the series!!!