What people are saying
Testimonials for “A Journey In Time”.
If you would like to add your testimonial to this page please send it to Maureen via the contact form on the contact page.
From the opening pages of “A Journey in Time” I knew it would be different from the books I’ve been reading lately and I was right!
To say this is totally unlike anything I’ve ever read before would be an understatement! I’m not sure how to even describe this book as SO much happens, and it seems to touch on so many elements, themes, and subjects. It covers a long span of time, from Ireland to Canada in the1800’s…and we experience this time of history through an intimate looks through several characters’ eyes. Ms. Doyle sets of the backdrop and characterizations in a skillful way that not only pulls us in mentally, but also elicits a genuine emotional investment. I truly cared about the characters’ fates, and was shocked and saddened at certain things (no spoilers). An interesting and very diverse cast of characters, along with several intriguing plotlines interwoven against a fully-realized historical setting makes this a memorable read for me. And I’ve never really read much in the way of Irish or Canadian history before (sad, I know) so I really felt like I learned something and it was very interesting! 5 StarIndie Book Reviews - Jenna Brewster
Spanning nearly a century, this historical novel follows one Irishman’s life after escaping the potato famine and immigrating to Canada.
John Doyle comes of age in Wicklow, Ireland, where his family is one of many at odds with those loyal to the British crown. When famine and fever sweep through Ireland, John accepts his landlord’s generous offer to accompany him to Canada and start anew. He hopes to establish a farm and earn enough money to send for his mother, brother, and sisters so they can escape starvation and the workhouse. First, he must survive the long journey across the Atlantic in steerage—another hotbed of disease and death. Upon arriving in Canada, John sets up his farm and seeks a wife. From there, his long, colorful path takes various turns driven by historic events, including the Civil War. Author Doyle based the arc of her novel on her great-grandfather’s story. The result is a vibrant historical tale, full of facts about farm life in rural 19th-century Canada—which crops would survive an early frost (peas, cabbage, fall wheat), for example, and the best way to build a two-story log house. However, choosing to cover the entirety of one man’s long life means that the story ebbs and flows. Similar to Richard Linklater’s film Boyhood, the novel comprises many well-wrought everyday moments. The best parts concern young John’s dangerous journey from Ireland to Canada and his efforts to establish himself.
Fans of historical drama—and romance—will fall in love with the noble John and his sprawling Irish Catholic family.Kirkus Review
I love that it’s based on actual events
Don’t fear if you don’t know much about the potato famine that occurred during the 1800’s in Ireland, because reading this book will catch you up to what happened. A Journey in Time takes you up close and personal to the difficulties that occurred during that time period in all aspects of a persons life. I love that it’s based on actual events. Knowing that what I’m reading actually happened somewhere to someone, makes it that much more emotional, making it easier to empathize with the characters agony.
It definitely had enough substance to keep me from putting the book down, and I finished it in one sitting. I am going to recommend this to a a few people who love history, that will absolutely enjoy this book. I give it a 4/5.Elizabeth Barbarick - Stuffed Shelves
I really enjoyed “A Journey in Time” by Maureen Francis Doyle. I thought it was excellently written (a few minor editing things but nothing too major) and kept my attention the whole way through, with the crazy ups and downs and unpredictable twists of fate. Okay, maybe if you already know the history of some of these events isn’t as surprising… and sad… but for me it was! The fact that this is written about a real events and a person makes it that much more interesting, yet it is still presented in a very enjoyable, ‘fiction-like’ manner. I thought the narrative and pacing was great, and the ending was emotionally satisfying. This is one of those rare books where I feel like I learned something and feel more informed, and did so while reading a wonderful novel. Highly recommend. (5 stars)
Indie Book Review - SDecker
An insight into a little-known aspect of Irish history. Would make a great movie!
The author has successfully written a poignant story from a very personal perspective through research into her family history about the impact of the Irish Potato Famine of the mid-1800s. With heart she has managed to convey not only the intense suffering, but also the intense determination and faith of people who were beset with seemingly insurmountable circumstances. The author details the story of her ancestors who were caught in the midst of the Potato Famine and were forced to leave the land they knew and loved to find hope and fortune in the New World. John Doyle made a promise to his father on his deathbead to go to the Americas and take his mother and siblings with him. John survives a 3 month long journey in steerage and a stab wound on the day he reaches Canada, to create life and hope for him and his family in Camden, Canada. The story broadens the reader’s knowledge of history while telling a truly touching account of love, loss, faith, trial, and tribulation.Rainwater Literary Solutions Agency
Well this book took me a quite a while to read, but in the end I’d definitely say it was worth it! I loved how everything came together, and I enjoyed reading this extraordinary novel! The author Maureen Francis Doyle writes very well… very descriptive and strong and we feel like we are there almost like watching a movie or something. The editing was pretty good, only a few things here and there… A wonderful novel to just get lost in and enjoy Ms. Doyle’s lovely, strong narrative and beautiful prose. The conversations were authentic-sounding, and the characters all brought the story to life. For such a long book I was surprised that there weren’t really any ‘boring’ parts… even if it slowed down some and was working on character development or something, it still was so well-written that we are riveted until the bittersweet end. I do enjoy historical fiction, but it’s usually European or American based – this is my first foray into “Canadian’ historical lit and it was wonderful! I’m so glad I read it and I recommend to others with the highest of praise. (4-5 stars)Indie Book Review - BenjisMom
“A Journey in Time” by Maureen Francis Doyle is an amazing and epic piece of historical fiction!
One of the most enticing and well-crafted novels I’ve read in a long time. I was completely drawn in from the get-go, (loved the author’s note about the inspiration for the book… really made it even more powerful in my mind) and absolutely loved Ms. Doyle’s use of description of the different scenery and locales, and her attention to historical detail. There is something of everything… action, drama, history, strength and survival, relationships…and despite the hefty length of this novel, it absolutely captured my attention from the beginning and never once let it go. Each scene was riveting, imaginative, and well-crafted. I actually feel like I learned something too, as even though I’ve heard of the Great Potato Famine, I didn’t actually know much about it, and it is really interesting to see how it shaped the history of a nation. There are a lot of characters to keep track of, but great dialogue and I was definitely pleased with how it all wrapped up, even if the ending is pretty bittersweet – but in a good way. A must read for fans of historical literary fiction, and I’d love to read more from Maureen Francis Doyle in the future. 5 StarIndie Book Reviews - NikkyH7117
“A great first novel! Maureen gives us a glimpse at the struggles and challenges that the Irish went thru during The Great Potato Famine. For all lovers of historical fiction, this is going to be enlightening and a delight to read. Through the eyes of John Doyle, we see just how much love for a family he has and the great desire to overcome his obstacles to bring his family together.”Ronald G. Young
Outstanding…Highly recommended read.Jonathan Hannah
“A wonderful read with prose that leap off the page and grab your heart.”Bernie Schein
Just checking out your new site and already impressed. Now for the prize – to read your book.
I am a rookie in the ancestry search, only 7 years, but I have been able to ride on the coat-tails of my brother who has been at it for 30+ years. Our heritage on my dad’s side… all Scottish and my mom’s side is 95% Irish.
It always amazes me the side stories we come across. Now to take that history and write a book – that is a WOW factor many times over.
Being a full time home caregiver I do have some free time, so I am really looking forward to reading your book.Ron Cairns
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Maureen has the ability to give the reader an inside view of what happened during the potato famine and all the trials and tribulations that her ancestors went through to get to the land of opportunity. I was sorry when it ended. I wish it could have gone on and on. She is a gifted novelist.Mary Ann Dabbelt
Magnificent…Clearly a labor of love…Marth Schein