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Ronan's Echo

Ronan's Echo 2

by Joanne Van Os
Publication Date: 01/04/2014
4/5 Rating 2 Reviews
IN 1916 TWIN BROTHERS Denny and Connor Ronan are eager to get to the war before it's all over; Bridie O'Malley, their childhood friend and the woman they both love, watches them leave, understanding too late that war is about more than heroes and handsome boys in uniform. NEARLY A CENTURY ON from the disastrous battle of Fromelles, forensic anthropologist Kat Kelso, Bridie's great granddaughter, is in France identifying the recovered bodies of lost Australian soldiers. The discovery of her own relative amongst the dead men begins the unravelling of a hundred years of family history, lies and secrets.
Contemporary fiction
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Pan Macmillan Australia
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  • a remarkable and moving story

    by on

    A few years after Bridies mother dies, Bridie along with her father, Eamonn, and brothers, Donal, Rory and Aidan move from Connemara Ireland to Australia in search of a better life. They are well off in Australia buying a large home which they name after their beloved Connemara and life is pleasant. Bridie befriends twins, Denny and Connor, and the three are soon inseparable. WW1 erupts and Bridies three brothers, along with the Ronan twins, enlist and are soon sent to fight for their country.

    Almost a century on Fiona and her daughter Kat (Catriona), descendants of Bridie, are now living at Connemara. Kat is a forensic anthropologist and is on the team to go to France and identify the recovered bodies of lost Australian soldiers. However, after identifying one of the bodies as one of her ancestors long held family secrets come to the surface.

    This is a remarkable and moving story full of intrigue, family skeletons, the horrors of war and how PTSD can damage generation after generation. However, above all this Ronans Echo is a story about family.

    I am fascinated by genealogy and family trees so I loved the family tree at the front of the book and would often go back and just look at the names, birth years, who married who and connecting it back with the story.

    The side story of forensics was captivating. How cool is it that modern day science can unravel the mysteries of the past?

    The battle scene had me mesmerized and the characters were all so real I felt I could almost go online search the WW1 records and see the OMalley and Ronan names there.

    Being from Sydney myself, it was easy to picture the scenes around Manly and Circular Quay.

    If you like stories about love or war or family they were all rolled into one here and perfectly executed. This is one of the few books I could read again and again.


    by on

    Ronan’s Echo by Joanne Van Os was a thoughtful and entertaining story of how the people’s actions can echo down through the generations. It revealed some horrible scenes of war and its aftermath, but for me, these revelations serve to increase my admiration for the generation who learned to cope with the awful outcomes of war. It was also a story of modern day love and the strength of family. It was a good read.