The Connellys of County Down: A Novel (Hardcover)
When Tracey Lange publishes a book, there’s a high chance I’m reading it. Although I’m usually more of a romance, horror fiction fan, her compelling family dramas are something I can never get quite enough of.
The stories she writes are usually highlighted by big Irish-Catholic families who are as irritated with each other as they are loyal to each other. It’s that aspect that gets woven so well throughout her novels that I love. The idea that, no matter how upset you might be with someone, you’ll always have their back because “family” means everything.
This book falls right in line with that very idea.
The Connellys of County Down starts off with the main character, Tara Connelly, being released from her 18-month stint in prison on drug charges. From there, she struggles to find her grounding with no money and only her brother and sister to keep her afloat. Though, her brother and sister have problems of their own, and those problems appear to be close to boiling over. All the while, Tara can’t seem to stop running into the officer who arrested her, and she’s not sure if it’s a good or bad thing.
At its core, this book is about loyalty, redemption and the acceptance of what it means to be an imperfect human being. My favorite thing about Tracey Lange books is that she always weaves a story that causes you to look closer at yourself just by character driven storytelling.
Similarly, We Are the Brennans was published in 2021, also centering a female main character with skeletons in her closet who returns to a tense relationship with her family. Though both stories are very different, both serve to cement Tracey Lange’s style as uniquely exploring the intricacies of familial connections.
As we approach the closing of summer, this may be the perfect time to pick up a warm, mid-sized novel about family, loyalty and our personal capacity for change!— Lex Webber
August 2023 Indie Next List
“Do yourself a favor and meet The Connellys of County Down. Beautifully written, smartly plotted, and populated with fascinating characters, Tracey Lange’s sophomore novel proves that she is a master of the family drama.”
— Pamela Klinger-Horn, Valley Bookseller, Stillwater, MN
From Tracey Lange, the New York Times bestselling author of We Are the Brennans, comes The Connellys of County Down: a story about fierce family loyalty, good intentions gone awry, and the consequences of improbable love.
When Tara Connelly is released from prison after serving eighteen months on a drug charge, she knows rebuilding her life at thirty years old won’t be easy. With no money and no prospects, she returns home to live with her siblings, who are both busy with their own problems. Her brother, a single dad, struggles with the ongoing effects of a brain injury he sustained years ago, and her sister’s fragile facade of calm and order is cracking under the burden of big secrets. Life becomes even more complicated when the cop who put her in prison keeps showing up unannounced, leaving Tara to wonder what he wants from her now.
While she works to build a new career and hold her family together, Tara finds a chance at love in a most unlikely place. But when the Connellys’ secrets start to unravel and threaten her future, they all must face their worst fears and come clean, or risk losing each other forever.
The Connellys of County Down is a moving novel about testing the bounds of love and loyalty. It explores the possibility of beginning our lives anew, and reveals the pitfalls of shielding each other from the bitter truth.
About the Author
Tracey Lange was born and raised in New York City. She graduated from the University of New Mexico with a degree in psychology before owning and operating a behavioral healthcare company with her husband for fifteen years. She completed the Stanford University online novel writing program, and is the author of We Are the Brennans and The Connellys of County Down. She currently lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband, two sons, and beloved German Shepherd.
Praise for The Connellys of County Down
“This emotionally charged story delivers the goods.”
“A compassionate look at family dynamics and a reminder that it’s never too late to heal.”
"Lange’s strong follow-up to her debut, We Are the Brennans (2021), explores how family dynamics are both created and sustained. "
"This is a novel about resilience and what it means to be a family, especially when times are really hard."
–Country Living,"28 Best Fall Books to Put at the Top of Your Reading List for 2023"
Praise for We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange
"When we leave the Brennans, they are perhaps more flawed than they were at the start. But that, to my mind, is what makes them feel human, and what makes the book feel real......[A] confident, polished debut novel...”
—The New York Times
"Lange’s engaging family drama is fueled by secrets and full of heart."
“In Lange’s accomplished debut… she keeps all of the Brennans sizzling with humanity while they grapple with familial loyalty. Fans of intense family dramas are in for a treat.”
"Reading this novel is like getting a view through a lighted window on a family sitting around a table after dark. Who are they? What are they talking about? All families have their own story and the ways they tell it to themselves, and untangling the many strands of this one was deep and richly satisfying. Once I started, I couldn't stop. I read it in one long delicious slide."
—Sarah Blake, New York Times bestselling author of The Guest Book
"In We Are the Brennans, Tracey Lange expertly captures the way one harrowing night can forever change a family. The Brennans are a tight-knit Irish family, carrying enough secrets to topple most families. Instead, Lange offers them a chance to heal, reminding us that it’s never too late to mend old wounds and that the things that tear us apart can ultimately put us back together. I devoured every page of this confident, accomplished debut."
—Amy Meyerson, internationally bestselling author of The Bookshop of Yesterdays and The Imperfects