The Killing Snows
The Great Irish Famine of 1846, one of the nastiest times for Ireland. Poverty, hunger, disease, violence and death. During this time a young couple met, fell in love and married. Inspired by a box of documents that were found on a small farm in the West of Ireland, The Killing Snows tells their story. The story of courage, suffering and love.
Initially, I wondered if I’d make it through The Killing Snows as the subject is very bleak. I admit that it was difficult in the beginning to get through the first few chapters because of the depressing setting. It didn’t take long, though, for me to get to know the characters and to become wrapped up in their lives and problems.
While I was aware of the Great Famine, I knew very little about it. The Killing Snows introduced me to an era of history where Workhouses were too full to take people in, where exploitation of starving people became second nature, if not acceptable. Where those that were desperate to help families in need were having to be turned away from Relief Works simply because they didn’t tick the right boxes during the Selection process.
The Killing Snows is not the type of book for light reading, it is a story of utter desperation, but it is an amazing book. It’s engrossing and informative without lecturing. These are real people, and Charles Egan has done a wonderful job of bringing them to life and telling their story.