Star of the Sea, by Joseph O’Connor

Star of the Sea is a historical fiction novel that takes place on a ship during the Irish potato famine in the mid 1800s. As these Irish citizens emigrate to the United States, readers become involved in the lives of the characters and their complicated relationships while learning more about the politics involved in the famine and Ireland as a whole during this time.

I loved the history involved in this novel. Other than knowing there was a potato famine, I knew little else about this event. This novel is something of a “murder mystery,” but it is the characters and their stories that engage you. O’Connor writes with intelligence, depth and understanding, and you don’t want to set this book aside until it is finished.

And because what’s a literary criticism without a wildly inappropriate joke…

How many potatoes does it take to kill an Irishman? None.