A Fíerce Local: Memoirs of My Love Affair with Ireland
By Harvey Gould
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“A Fierce Local” touches the hearts of readers with the soul of the Irish spirit. You’ll laugh, cry, and leap over rainbows from one page to the next.
-Stephanie Abrams, Nationally Syndicated Radio Show Travel Expert, www.sAbrams.com, www.Travelers411.com
A Fierce Local is by and about Harvey Gould, raised in an observant upper-middle-class Jewish family in a Chicago suburb, and Karen Duffy, brought up in a traditional Irish-Catholic blue-collar Manhattan neighborhood. Harvey and Karen have each married one of “their own” and failed. Then, after they've known each other for sixteen years, including a twelve-year courtship, finally Harvey's elusive blond shiksa marries him and they live happily ever after—until Harvey is diagnosed with a terminal disease and told that he has three to five years to live. Rather than allow his death sentence to cast a pall over them, it heightens Harvey’s love of life, wife, and Ireland, where Karen first took him years earlier on a horseback-riding holiday and where they return fourteen times over twenty years.
Tag along with Harvey as he makes a major faux pas at an Orthodox synagogue in Dublin, rides to the hounds, travels throughout Ireland with his wife, lives the sadness of 9/11 on Irish soil, meets numerous memorable characters, visits Knock, the Lourdes of Ireland, where he and his wife encounter a few miracles, receives life saving blood transfusions that ends with him writing to the Irish Prime Minister for recognition of his status as a "full blooded" Irishman, and much more. Harvey is never maudlin about his terminal disease. Rather, he faces this challenge head-on, sometimes with a pathos that will break your heart, other times with a humor that will warm it.
A Fierce Local covers some Irish history and travel attractions, but it’s not a tourguide. Rather, it’s the story of two irrepressible Yanks who take a small village in Ireland to their hearts and are accepted by the locals as belonging there—as being fierce locals. Their adventures, friendships, and enriching experiences, while occurring in a small country are filled with universal lessons that apply no matter where you live.
In short, A Fierce Local is an Irish ride of a lifetime.