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Paperback Book Details
  • 07/2015
  • 9780986221613 0986221619
  • 217 pages
  • $$9.95
Thomas Rice
Author
Carby's Fate
Thomas Rice, author

Adult; Mystery/Thriller; (Market)

Synopsis of Carby’s Fate Thomas J. Rice Summary Carby’s Fate is a family saga set in contemporary(1990s) Kilkenny, Ireland. It’s a novella(30,000 words) about a family dispute over land ownership, which erupts when Carby Bolger—the oldest of four, only son, and heir apparent in a system of primogeniture—is disinherited in favor or his sister’s out-of-wedlock son, a newborn who has stolen the heart of his dying grandfather. A rancorous lawsuit follows, resulting in a court order to sell the farm, a farm with a secret only Carby and his legal counsel are privy to, and which proves to have the potential to rip asunder the Bolger family and their legacy as respected pillars of the community. Detailed Synopsis Carby Bolger is the eldest and only son of a respected, gregarious farm family in County Kilkenny, Ireland . An outlier in his family, Carby is a prickly loner, with a secret. We hear about the secret early on, but without any clue to its nature. Narrated by the local bartender, Myles Dunne—a returned “Yank”(Irish emigrant to the U.S.), novelist, and nationally known athlete—we learn the roots of the dispute can be traced to Carby’s sister, Molly, who left a promising nursing career in London to care for her ailing parents on the farm. Blonde and beautiful, she soon shocks the staid Catholic community when she shows up at Mass pregnant, no husband in sight, and with no attempt to hide her condition. Her infant son steals the heart of his dying Grandpa, who reverses his will, leaving his entire property to the newborn—unprecedented in a tradition of primogeniture(oldest son inherits the land). Myles, the narrator/bartender, admits—in somewhat of an aside, at first—to carrying a torch for Molly, but lacks the brass to make his feelings known. \t \tAn embittered Carby violently evicts his sister and what he calls her “little bastard” from the farm—which is now legally theirs. Molly promptly sues, as executor of her father’s will and the case is tried before one Brian Flanagan, an abusively arrogant judge who is feared and despised in this tight-knit farm community. When Carby finds himself facing the abrasive Flanagan, alone, the community comes together in defiance, and the former pariah becomes an instant cause celebre. \t \t The courtroom drama plays out over one long summer, and we witness a miraculous transformation in Carby, the defendant, from hapless social isolate to charismatic crusader— “Boo” Radley morphing to Don Quixote— proud and fearless, fighting for justice in a system designed by absentee landlords bent on trampling the rights of “dacent people.” At least that’s how the regulars at Bullfeathers, the local pub, framed it—to lavish psychic (and comic) outpouring. \t \tEnter the ugly American , Cassidy, a macho former South Bronx cop, who blunders unwittingly into the middle of the dispute—in spite of Myles’s best efforts to warn him off. He buys the Bolgers’ land, leaving Carby feeling desperate, his secret about to be exposed. Reverting to his former miscreant self, Carby kidnaps Molly’s son, Noel—still a toddler—and runs Cassidy’s movers off at gunpoint. In a showdown at the farm, complete with police helicopters and SWOT sharpshooters, Myles succeeds in coaxing Carby to release the boy, but fails in getting him to surrender. \tThe standoff ends in tragedy. Carby is wantonly assassinated by Cassidy—though he lingers for a spell in a vegetative state—and Myles is shot in the spine trying to intervene, caught in the crossfire of Cassidy’s murderous onslaught. Myles recovers to pursue his unrequited love affair with Molly, which blossoms while he’s recovering in the rehabilitation ward. Cassidy gets life in prison, for what was ruled premeditated murder, after a short jury trial. \t \tCarby’s secret? Well, you’ll just have to read the book.
Reviews
Amazon Books

5.0 out of 5 stars

In the spirit of John B Keane’s play, The Field.

By Daniel Martin, Ph.D.-- October 19, 2015

Format: Paperback

Carby’s Fate is the story of a family dispute over inherited property, though perhaps it is more accurately the story of a community struggle over land and its deep meaning for a long-time colonized people, in the spirit of John B Keane’s play, The Field.

 

It is a great story but, more important, it is a story that is well told. For it is clear that the author knows these country people of Ireland intimately: their lives, their thinking and their habits of interaction. It is also clear that he loves them by the ways in which he goes to the trouble of presenting much more than the drama but also the deeper hopes and fears that drive it.

 

His narrator reflects this love in the way he describes the characters, particularly the main character of the drama who does little to endear himself to anyone. You get the sense that there is more to this rather crude and unattractive person, which emerges finally as the story comes to a climax. You can certainly feel the pain he has endured since childhood and continues to endure from the scornful attitude of his neighbors. At the same time, lest he appear as simply a victim, the author also lets us see into the hearts of these neighbors who contribute to his pain even as they support his cause.

 

However, he has little sympathy for the character who proves to be the catalyst that brings the entire process to a head – perhaps because he is an outsider with no sense of the family dynamic that is at play – though he holds back from biasing us too much until the very end when the tragedy has run its course and it no longer matters.

 

I was deeply moved by the denouement which is really an unraveling that still leaves enough threads for a promising new tapestry. Not unlike the story of Ireland itself. In fact, this wonderful little vignette is a true microcosm and even a symbol of an Irish culture that the modern world is in the process of breaking into and breaking down.

Daniel Martin

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5.0 out of 5 stars

Suspense in rural Ireland

By David D. Chrislip on October 2, 2015

Format: Paperback

In the rural Irish village of Rathdangan in County Kilkenny, the story of Carby’s fate consumes residents and outsiders as it twists and turns towards its startling conclusion. Carby Bolger, a local farmer and sometime ne’er do well, assumes he will become master of the family farm when his father dies. Sure that the ages-old custom of primogeniture will favor him, he’s outraged when the local judge takes “a wrecking ball to the natural order” by certifying Carby’s father’s will leaving the farm to his sister’s illegitimate son. His outrage soon has the town’s “squinting window” crowd up at arms as residents choose up sides based on ancient and hide-bound mindsets that ignore recent changes to law and custom. Underneath this drama (and unknown to others), Carby has a more hopeful fate in mind that belies his apparent character.

 

Thomas Rice, a child himself of rural Ireland, rounds up a thoroughly Irish cast of characters. In addition to the troubled Carby, there’s his sister Molly, a successful nurse and out-of-wedlock mother of Noel, who ignites the story when she returns to Rathdangan to care for their ailing parents. We meet the loud-mouthed Paddy Crotty holding forth at P. J. Finnegan’s, the local pub, whose bravado is unmatched by his courage to act. The bartender, Myles Dunne, whose life will be transformed by these events, knows the local history and lends a compassionate ear to the unfortunate Carby. Judge Brian Flanagan kick-starts the controversy when he endorses the will but keeps a tight rein on proceedings while recognizing Carby’s struggle to cope. And then there is the bully, Kevin Cassidy, a former New York City cop of Irish ancestry, whose heavy handed attempt to buy the farm eventually brings about his own demise while sealing Carby’s fate.

 

Rice, a consummate storyteller, brings you into this colorful world with his vivid descriptions of the events and the characters that inhabit this place.

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Most Recent Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars

The twists and turns in the story were excellent. Gasped outloud on...

This was an incredible read. Got the book as a gift and I couldn't put it down. In fact I read it while I was travelling and didn't even care I had a delay. Read more

Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer

5.0 out of 5 stars

Joyful

This latest book from Thomas Rice brings forth clear and authentic voices from the Irish countryside, presenting strong characters about whom one has definite feelings, sometimes... Read more

Published 5 months ago

5.0 out of 5 stars

Five Stars

Carby's Fate in its simplest form appears to describe a town battling over ownership of land but in reality it has more to do with status and entitlement
Thomas Rice, in his... Read more

Published 6 months ago by rsantagati

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Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 07/2015
  • 9780986221613 0986221619
  • 217 pages
  • $$9.95

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