Jack Flynn, strong and aggressive but slowly dying of tuberculosis on his farm in Tipperary in the Republic of Ireland, decides to acquire―purchase―a young wife who can bear him sons to inherit his family’s land. His choice, Caitlin Spillane, is less than half his age, attractive and intelligent, and resents bitterly the obedience that is forced upon her.
When a young firebrand, a supporter of the IRA, arrives in the village, he and Caitlin are drawn together in their detestation of Flynn. Flynn, traumatized by his own insurgent IRA experiences twenty years earlier, is secretly convinced that Eamonn de Valera’s more diplomatic, peaceful approach to Ireland’s problems is the only sane one.
Could Caitlin be won for the cause, and leave her unloved husband?
A novel set against the struggle for the heart of Ireland in the Second World War, when the IRA notoriously sought assistance from the Nazis, Only with Blood explores flawed characters placed in extraordinary situations.
Only With Blood is Therese Down's debut book and it is a good one. As a huge fan of debut books and Christian Historical Fiction Only With Blood really caught my attention. Therese Down writes with authority about WWII, Ireland, England, the IRA, and the state of the world during WWII. Therese Down wrote a wonderful story with a perfect mix of fact and fiction, that really taught me a lot about this time in our history and about Ireland's involvement with the Nazi party. I learned so much while reading this book. For the most part I found Only With Blood engaging, just a few parts that sort of bogged me down but glad I kept reading. I found the characters in this book real, dealing with real issues of that time, some we still deal with today and some very foreign in this day in age. I again found myself learning about the lives of people during WWII in Ireland and their involvement, something you don't hear a lot about. My favorite character would have to be Caitlin Spillane. I loved her spirit and her strength. As I stated before, except for a few spots, this book held me from start to finish and definitely kept me guessing throughout. Theresa Down really transports her audience to this time and place. I really felt like I was there watching as the events unfolded. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys Christian Historical Fiction, especially about WWII, you will NOT be disappointed. I can't wait to read more from Therese Down. I give this book 4 STARS.
***As a side note I would like to apologize to Therese Down and Kregel Publications for the lateness of this review!***