Books Like Dubliners
Despite being a small nation, Ireland is known worldwide for its literature. The Emerald Isle has produced many of the greatest writers, poets, and novelists who have made an impact on literature. Whether it is due to the country's turbulent history or because Irish authors are not afraid to take risks there's no doubt that stories about The Land of Saints and Scholars continue to fascinate readers. Books like Dubliners by James Joyce examine the country and its people in a way that places just as much emphasis on the geography as the characters. For more stories set in Ireland or about Irish characters, check out the following books like Dubliners.
by Edward Rutherford
The Princes of Ireland: The Dublin Saga by Edward Rutherford is a 2004 historical fiction novel that begins in tribal, pre-Christian Ireland. The story chronicles the lives of Irish families and their descendants that lived in the region of what is now called Dublin. The book is also filled with historical characters, such as Saint Patrick, King John of England, Brian Boru, and Strongbow. The book ends with the disastrous Irish revolt of 1534 and the story continues in the next novel, The Rebels of Ireland.
by Jean Grainger
Jean Grainger, the author of The Tour, grew up in Cork and worked for two years as a tour guide in Ireland. The Tour is her first novel and is about the adventures of an American tour group who visits Ireland. As they tour the country on a high-end bus under the guidance of their charming Irish bus driver this group of misfits uncover secrets and face truths that will change their lives. The Tour is filled with vivid descriptions of the most beautiful places in Ireland while the characters are just as detailed and believable.
by John Banville
The Sea is the thirteenth novel by Irish author John Banville and won the Booker Prize in 2005. The story is written as the reflective journal of Max Morden, a retired art historian who loses his wife. To cope with this event Max returns to the seaside town in Ireland where he spent the summer holidays of his childhood. It is here that Max mourns his wife while also reminiscing about the past.
by Roddy Doyle
From The Cranberries and the Corrs to U2, Ireland has no shortage of musical talent. The Commitments by Roddy Doyle is the story of a group of unemployed young people who decide to start their own soul band. The story captures everything from ambition, greed, and egotism to the exhilarating joy of music-making by the "world's hardest working band."
by Anne Enright
The Green Road by Anne Enright is set in a small town on Ireland's Atlantic coast and tells the story of the Madigan family. The first part of the novel deals with the individual family members, four children and their mother Rosaleen, as they take different paths in life. The second half deals with Rosaleen deciding to sell the family house and asking everyone to return for one last Christmas get-together.
by John Boyne
The Heart's Invisible Furies is a 2017 novel by John Boyne, the author of The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. It is the story of Cyril Avery, a man who will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from. Cyril is born out of wedlock to a teenage girl who is cast out from her rural Irish community. He ends up being adopted by an eccentric Dublin couple and struggles to discover an identity, home, country, and more for himself.
by Santa Montefiore
The Irish Girl is the first book in the Deverill Chronicles by Santa Montefiore. It is set in Ireland during the early twentieth century when a nation is on the brink of war. Kitty Deverill is a young woman who grows up in Castle Deverill, which is the same place where her ancestors have always dwelled. Kitty falls in love with Jack O'Leary, the son of the local veterinarian. However, when Jack is enlisted to fight as Irish and British forces collide, Kitty also throws herself into the cause for Irish liberty.
by Siobhan Dowd
A Swift Pure Cry by Siobahn Dowd was published in 2006 and centers around a teenager named Shell who lives in County Cork. It is set in the eighties when after Shell's mother dies her father turns to alcohol to drown the pain. This leaves Shell to care for her younger brother and sister. It is a harsh life with only her friendship with a naive young priest and her childhood friend, Declan, offering some release. However, Shell finds herself in the middle of a scandal that rocks her small community when she becomes pregnant.
by Felicity Hayes-McCoy
The Library at the Edge of the World is the first novel in the Finfarran series by Felicity Hayes-McCoy. Hanna Casey is a librarian who abandoned her sophisticated lifestyle after catching her husband cheating on her. She ends up back in the rural Irish town of Lissbeg, a place that she walked away from in her teens, living in the back bedroom of her mother's retirement bungalow. To try and reclaim her independence, Hanny is determined to restore a derelict cottage left to her by her great-aunt. However, when the Lissbeg Library is threatened with closure, she finds herself leading a battle to restore the heart and soul of the fragmented community.
by Patricia Falvey
The Yellow House by Patricia Falvey is set during the Revolutionary Period in Ireland and centers around a Northern Irish woman's struggles to hold her family together and follow her heart. Eileen O'Neill is determined to reclaim her ancestral home and reunite her family after it is torn apart by religious intolerance and secrets from the past. She holds on to this dream while working at the local mill and saving money, but then war is declared on a local and global scale. Eileen soon finds herself torn between two very different men, each drawing her to one extreme.