Welcome to Pump Up Your Book’s Virtual Book Tour for The Pub Across the Pond
Carlene Rivers has never been lucky. That’s what her brutally honest best friend, Becca, tells the gentleman selling raffle tickets at the Irish fair. But Carlene is undeterred, so she throws in twenty dollars on the chance to win Jimmy’s Pub in wee Ballybeog on the western coast of Ireland near Galway Bay.
Ronan McBride, the only son of Mary and the late Jimmy, has once again disappointed his mother and six sisters — known as the “half dozen” — with his drinking and gambling. But this time, he played poker with Uncle Joe, whose market stands next door to the pub. Joe wants to turn the pub into Tan Land, a spa filled with tanning beds. When Joe threw the key to the shop into the pot and challenged Ronan to toss in the key to the pub, Ronan thought four aces were a sure bet. They weren’t.
But Ronan’s best friend, Anchor, devised back up plan. Rather than deed the pub over to Joe, the McBrides could pay him one hundred thousand euros. In order to raise the money, the half dozen decide to raffle the pub off to an American. Even though they will lose ownership, at least the new owner won’t be Uncle Joe.
Upon hearing that she is the new owner of Jimmy’s Pub, Carlene is ready to leave Cleveland, Ohio behind. Although it is difficult to leave her father, who suffers from severe obsessive-compulsive disorder, and the training facility for boxers he operates, Carlene is ready to find out if she can be a successful publican.
On a cold, rainy autumn day, The Pub Across the Pond is the perfect book to curl up with, along with a cup of hot tea. Author Mary Carter has crafted an endearing tale about two people who are, on the surface, completely wrong for each other but end up being the focus of “the greatest love story ever told in Ballybeog when everyone was drunk but nobody wanted to go home and all other great love stories had been told.”
It could be argued that The Pub Across the Pond is a straight-forward, even somewhat formulaic, romantic comedy. But to dismiss the book so readily would be to miss its charm. There is nothing wrong with a straight-forward story, even one that employs a well-used formula, if it satisfies its readers. And what elevates The Pond Across the Pub above other stories of the same genre is the passion for both the setting and her characters that Carter infuses into every page. The Pub Across the Pond reads as though Carter wrote it with a pint in her hand and a wink in her eye, and she invites her readers to come on an adventure with her protagonist, Carlene, as she searches for a place of her very own that she can call home.
Sometimes leaving home is the only way to find where you belong.
At the age of thirty, Carlene feels as though she has not yet discovered her destiny. Her mother’s death when she was just six years old left her emotionally embattled and feeling guilty. It was at that point that her father began showing symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Working with him in his gym has not fulfilled Carlene, who has always felt pulled toward her Irish ancestry, even telling the customs officer at the airport about her “great great great grandmother” in one of the book’s hilariously touching scenes. Wide-eyed and ready to learn new skills — like how to properly pour Guinness from the tap — Carlene quickly gets acquainted with her troublesome neighbor, Uncle Joe, as well as the pub regulars. They are a quirky bunch of colorful and frequently laugh-out-loud funny supporting characters who give the story interest, sneaking into readers’ hearts as the story progresses and more is revealed about some of them.
Ronan is the dashing and reckless bad boy who turns out to have a heart that beats true. He is instantly smitten with Carlene, as she is with him, but as in any great love story the route to “happily ever after” is neither straight nor easily trod. Carlene is determined not to allow another Irishman to break her heart and she needs time to adjust her new life and the tight-knit community of Ballybeog which immediately embraces her.
Readers looking for a rollicking and romantic good craic (that’s Irish for a good time or fun) will love The Pub Across the Pond. This was my first introduction to Mary Carter, but I definitely plan to read some of her earlier work and look forward to the publication of the novel she is currently writing.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one copy of The Pub Across the Pond free of charge from the author in conjunction with the Pump Up Your Book review and virtual book tour program. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own. This disclosure complies with 16 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 255, “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Enter to Win a Copy of The Pub Across the Pond
Author Mary Carter has graciously provided one copy of The Pub Across the Pond to be awarded to a lucky Colloquium reader!
Entries will be accepted through Thursday, November 17, 2011, at 12:01 a.m.!