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Summary

After the birth of her daughter, Emma, the usually resilient Majella finds herself feeling isolated and exhausted. Then, at her childhood home, Majella discovers the diary of her maternal ancestor Ginny and is shocked to read a story of murder in her family history.

With the famine upon her, Ginny Doyle fled from Ireland to America, but not all of her family made it. What happened during those harrowing years, and why does Ginny call herself a killer? Is Majella genetically fated to be a bad mother, despite the fierce tenderness she feels for her baby?

Determined to uncover the truth of her heritage and her own identity, Majella sets out to explore Ginny's past - and discovers surprising truths about her family and ultimately, herself.

©2013 Jeanine Cummins (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

Critic reviews

"Rich and intricately drawn...luminous prose." (Carolyn Parkhurst)

What listeners say about The Crooked Branch

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Could have been 5 stars

I have given this book 3 stars, the book is in two parts historical and modern, the historical part I would give five stars, it is truly brilliant, unfortunately the modern part is far from brilliant, I found myself wanting to skip these chapters to get back to the other story.

3 people found this helpful

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Another cracker from Cummins

Cummins has captured the spirit of motherhood during the Irish genocide impeccably. This author is extremely talented. Having read American Dirt and finding it so authentic, I wasn't sure she could capture an entirely different culture in the same way. However I was impressed yet again and I particularly loved the Irish reader.

2 people found this helpful

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loved it

I nearly didn't listen to this because there were some negative reviews about it, I've loved Jeanine Cummings other books and was worried I'd be disappointed but in the end I thought I'd give this a go. I'm so glad I did as I loved it and thought it all tied in well together. She's such a clever and diverse writer.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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A tale of two halves

After reading American Dirt and the equally compelling Outside Boy I looked forward to this novel. However whilst the Irish sections provided a great story brilliantly narrated by Aoife McMahon, the New York present day sections were really annoying and made me want to skip them.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

2 very different mothers

I love the difference between the two female lead characters lives. Gripped by both 🙂

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Unconvincing

While the historical part was interesting, the modern-day female character seemed incomplete and somewhat superficial.

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Enjoyable read

I have really loved Jeanine Cummins other books and I enjoyed this one too overall. However I agree with some of the other reviews in that I loved the Irish chapters but found the New York ones a bit tedious and I really didn’t like the character of Magella and found the narration of her voice hard to listen to!

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This author is original and I would definitely bux

This is the third book I have listened to by J Cummins. I have enjoyed them all.

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Very disappointed with ending.

My least favourite Jeanine Cummins novel to date. Started off enthralling, narration was great but totally disappointing ending.

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  • Andréa Veiga
  • 15-03-21

Delightful

The story is so human and so tender. The human courage and fears are so vividly described that you can almost associate certains elements in your own life to the characters.
However, the voice of the American woman is so annoying and over-dramatised that I fought to keep on listening.
If you can look past the awful narrator then I’d say this is a fabulous story!

1 person found this helpful