Title: The Pub Across the Pond
Author: Mary Carter
Release Date: October 1, 2011
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5
Carlene Rivers doesn’t think much about it when she enters a raffle to win a pub in Ireland – after all, the ticket is only $20. That is, until she wins. Carlene is ecstatic at her good fortune. She packs everything up and heads to the small town of Ballybeog, near Galway, to inspect her winnings. But what she doesn’t expect is her welcome might not be as warm as she hopes; will Carlene give up and go back to the States or fight for her dream?
The premise of The Pub Across the Pond is a bit silly. There’s no doubt about that. But if you are okay with that whimsy, then definitely pick up this novel because you’re in for a treat. Carlene is a great main character. She’s strong-willed and brave, yet she maintains a fragility. It’s easy to see why the pub’s former owner, Ronan, is attracted to her. Carlene is impulsive and doesn’t always make the smartest decisions. She tends to romanticize things (the idea of moving to Ireland and owning a pub), but that just makes her realistic. I loved Carlene’s spirit and drive, and the fact that she was determined to succeed even when life presented her with seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
The depiction of Ireland in The Pub Across the Pond is completely charming. If you’ve visited Ireland, this book will remind you of the lush beauty of the Emerald Isle. If you haven’t had the opportunity to go, then this book will make you want to travel there immediately. The sense of place in this novel is really amazing; Carter captures the atmosphere of rural Ireland perfectly.
The secondary characters are really what make The Pub Across the Pond worth reading. Full of charm and their individual quirks, it’s clear that Carter put time and effort into developing each one of them. They each have their own well-developed personalities, and Carter is careful to give each some nuance, ensuring they don’t become caricatures. The author chose to stay away from some of the darker parts of Irish culture (namely alcoholism), ensuring the novel keeps its light tone.
The Pub Across the Pond is a lovely women’s fiction novel that is perfect for a few hours of escapism. Carlene is a great character readers will root for, and her tension-filled relationship with Ronan is a lot of fun. Lovers of light women’s fiction novels, especially those set in other countries, definitely shouldn’t miss this book.