Say Nothing
Say Nothing A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland By Radden Keefe, Patrick eBook - 2019

Three words: Read. This. Book.

I will admit that modern Irish history has been of interest to me for a long time and I've read more than one book on the subject, but even if you've never even heard of The Troubles, even if you don't usually read non-fiction, even if you don't care for history: Read. This. Book.

Keefe begins Say Nothing with the personal. We find out about Jean McConville, her husband's death leaving her to raise ten children in a rotting public housing tower, until one day her neighbors come to take her away in a car and she never comes home again. The mystery of Jean's disappearance is the central thread holding the narrative together, but as we dive further into the book, Keefe uses the introduction of our second character, Dolours Price, as a way to widen the scope, because without at least some understanding of The Troubles, there is no way to explain Jean's disappearance.

Riveting and extraordinary, touching on the the ties to the US civil rights movement all the way to Brexit, Keefe makes sense of a period in history that other writers have only approached. He also goes beyond telling the story, looking at why the peace process after the Troubles has only partially fixed relations in the North, and the long-term effects the fighting had on the bodies and minds of the participants. In the end, Keefe leaves us with a good idea of what happened to Jean, from who called the shots, to who pulled the trigger, but in a country where everyone has been told to "say nothing" there's a good chance we may never know the full truth.

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