Reviewed by Erin Nass
Behind the shamrocks and shillelaghs exists a culture that is deeply rooted in agriculture, insurrection, music, art, and religion. The Irish survived genocide and foreign tyranny, triumphed in a war of independence, shed tears and blood in a civil war, and persevered in the face of bigotry and economic destitution. All the while they built most of the free world, created some of the most beautiful pieces of music, and suffered collectively as many fell victim to alcohol and forced emigration. And, at the heart of it all in 1959 was Tom Rice and his mother, Maggie O’Toole.
Tom Rice was the youngest (and only) son of Maggie O’Toole and Arthur Rice, both revolutionary heroes from County Carlow, Ireland. Growing up in the shadow of his father’s notoriety, his mother’s reputation, and the wants and needs of his older sisters, Tom spent most of his childhood learning the ropes of running a farm.
Unlike so many, Tom was secure in the knowledge that he would never have to emigrate because he had what most Irishmen could only wish for…he had land. What he didn’t have was a desire to be a farmer in rural corner of Ireland. So, in 1959, Tom sells off his livestock, packs up his mother, and begins an adventure that leads him “far from the land” and towards the realization of his dreams in the America.
Far From the Land is an autobiography chronicling the early life of Doctor Rice, his childhood in rural Ireland, and his immigration to the United States as a young adult. Through Rice’s recounting, the reader becomes immersed in the farming culture and political climate of Ireland right after World War II. The revolutionary fervor and the social stigmatization inherent in Ireland and England come to life as Rice narrates the events of his interesting yet typical life.
Far From the Land is more than just one man’s history. It is the history of Ireland and America in the latter half of the 20th century.
Erin fell in love with the written word as a small child and subsequently spent most of her life happily devouring literature. She works as a freelance news, marketing, and technical writer. Erin lives just outside of Cleveland, Ohio with her husband, children, and grandchildren.
This book was provided free of any obligation by Jane Wesman Public Relations, Inc. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.