The Hungry Road gives us a glimpse of life during the Irish famine from two main perspectives. The Sullivan family are tenant farmers with several children when the potato crop fails. Husband and wife struggle through taking jobs and joining the public works, taking advantage of the soup kitchen and doing everything they can to keep alive. We see the level of suffering and tenacity of the Irish people to overcome. Our second main perspective is Dr Donovan who is the physician at the local workhouse and a landowner in the town. Through his eyes we see the deplorable conditions of the work houses, the relentless fevers and reality of starvation. He and a local priest also team up to start the soup kitchen and try to provide relief in the forms of food, work and an escape from Ireland.
This was definitely a heartbreaking book to read. It was very visceral and taught me a lot about the resilience of my ancestors. Minor spoiler ahead… it does end with an emigration which was definitely interesting but I felt like because of that we only got one perspective of where the famine ended. I would have liked more of a thread of how the people who survived began to recover and thrive. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
This was the first of my reads to prep for Nanowrimo where I’m aiming to write a novel that occurs during the famine, so get prepared for a few famine reviews coming up. What’s the last topic you’ve recently read more than one book about?