Saturday, March 12, 2016

Book Review: The Story We Carry in Our Bones

As someone with Irish ancestry, I was excited to get the chance to check out a book about the Celtic people. This book did not disappoint. The Story We Carry in Our Bones is part history text/part storybook. Juilene Osborne-McKnight takes readers on a journey from some of the earliest Celtic societies to the potato famine and beyond. 

Osborne-McKnight punctuates the history with small fictional pieces that take the reader into the minds of a person dealing with the situations discussed, and gives insight into the long and complex history of the Celtic people. 

Readers learn about the diet their ancient ancestors ate, the laws they followed, the festivals, and more. There are also some Gaelic words included, as well as an explanation of the four cycles of storytelling.  

Also included are stunning photographs that bring Ireland to life. Looking at the pictures actually made me long to visit and see some of these sights for myself. There are a number of wonderful drawings to illustrate the book as well. 

While the book was engaging and insightful (I didn't realize how highly the Celtic people regarded artists), it was also a sobering picture of a people mistreated and lied to by governments and other cultures alike. Reading how they were treated around the time of the potato famine, as well as the way they were regarded upon arriving in America paints a disturbing picture, and shows just how little times (and people) change. 

This book moved, entertained, and inspired me. I highly recommend it for those who are interested in the Celtic culture, or those who carry the culture in their ancestry.