A Lover of Books

‘Tan’ by David Lawlor

When David Lawlor asked me if I would like to review his book I was more than happy to as I love discovering new authors.  I also enjoy reading historical fiction and am always keen to learn more.

The story begins in Balbriggan, Ireland in 1914.  Liam Mannion is accused of a crime he didn’t commit and is forced into exile.  He travels to England where he enlists and goes to war in France.  Five years later Liam is back in England, with nightmares of his battlefield memories.  He finds employment in a Manchester cotton mill but prejudice and illness soon leave him without work.  Starving and roaming the streets, Liam is rescued and enlists in a new military force called The Black and Tans, who are heading to Ireland.  He is posted to the town he originally fled from.

Whilst Liam has been away, things have changed drastically.  His childhood friends have joined the republican cause, while his brother has allied himself to the Crown forces.  Liam struggles with his own conflicted feelings about his duty to the ruthless Tans and loyalty to his friends.  He also comes face to face with the man who spread lies about him all those years ago.

As soon as I began reading the first chapter I knew that this book was for me and that I was really going to enjoy it.  It was exciting from the start and full of action throughout.  This is a very believable story and it gives you a good idea about what Ireland was like in those days.  Liam really showed his bravery especially when he found himself a bit too close to his enemies.  I also like how each chapter has been divided into several sections so that you get to know what is happening in all parts of the story, without having to wait too long.

If you like historical fiction I truly recommend this book.  But I warn you, you’ll find it very hard to put down.  Reading ‘Tan’ has left me with a thirst for more by this author.

I give this book 5 out of 5.


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5 thoughts on “‘Tan’ by David Lawlor

  1. Thank you, Sonya, for that review. I’m really chuffed and will probably be reading it for several days (that’s ego for you!). I really appreciate you taking the time, honest. You’re brilliant!


  2. You’re very welcome, David! 🙂

    Thanks in return for taking the time to leave a comment. Good luck with your next book.



  3. Very helpful review. Historical fiction is my favorite genre, so Tan is now definitely on my reading list.


  4. Hi Sonya,
    I know how much reading & writing you do, but thought I’d pass on a recommendation from the same era.
    It’s called Three Cheers for Me by Donald Jack. (Series: Bandy Papers). It’s both historical & HILARIOUS!!! It was first published to critical acclaim in ’62 (I read that version). There’s a revised version that came out in the ’70s available on Amazon. BTW, I read it more than 15 years ago and I still chuckle whenever I think of it:)
    …maybe, I’ll send you a copy of my 2nd novel when I find that ‘needle in the haystack’ publisher who will publish it.
    Happy reading!


  5. Hi Dina,

    Thanks for your recommendation. I’ll certainly check out this book when I get the chance.

    Best Wishes



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