Review: The Connellys of County Down by Tracey Lange

Review by Lex Weber

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!