Writers are Readers: “Trinity”
REVIEWER: Kathy Carberry
BOOK TITLE: Trinity
AUTHOR: Leon Uris
GENERAL SYNOPSIS: A sweeping historical novel about Ireland and their long battle
with Britain. The main character is Connor Larkin who starts out as a boy in Northern Ireland and grows into a man on a never-ending quest for freedom from British rule. In the midst of his constant battle, there are a wide array of rich characters from all sides of the struggle. All likeable and detestable in their own way. We get a vivid account of his struggle with himself and all he has been taught to believe, as he deals with mixed emotions for the people he has hated for so many years, and a forbidden love that ends in tragedy. In the end he has doubts, but continues to follow the path that he hopes will help his people. It leads him into a battle that can’t be won.
GENERAL IMPRESSIONS: I read this book for the first time when I was fourteen years old, and I have read it countless times since. It is my favorite of all time. My father put the book in my hands and asked me to read it, and since he had never steered me wrong, I did. It speaks to one half of my ancestry, but more than that, it shows a wide range of emotions, and that the struggle we have within ourselves, is far, far greater than any we can have with another person or group. Trinity has always in some way influenced my choices when it came to reading. I am always looking for stories with complex, conflicted characters. The kind of characters that make dubious choices that may or may not turn out well. I am open to all genres, but I have special affection for fantasy and historical novels. Though I firmly believe in mixing genres for a richer reading experience. Trinity made me a character driven reader, and I hope writer as well. I want to perfect my own characters to make them as multi-layered and complex as possible.
HOW WAS THIS BOOK SIGNIFICANT FOR YOU? HOW WILL IT AFFECT YOUR WRITING?
Trinity taught me the power of character. It showed me that great characters aren’t straight up bad or good. Truly interesting characters are complex and their choices define them. It also taught me that a great author can identify with their characters even when they may come from a totally different background. Leon Uris was of Russian Jewish descent, yet his portrayal of the Irish Catholic experience was profound and incredible. This proves that all we need is the ability to draw from universal emotions. I write characters that won’t always do the right thing at the right time, but they find a way to get where they need to go despite their doubts and what it might cost. As a side note, I want to let everyone know that great writers come from all backgrounds and education levels. I learned many years after reading this novel that Leon Uris failed high school English. What Inspiration! It gives the rest of us hope. On a personal note, I named my youngest son Connor after my favorite literary character. I found out recently that Leon Uris did the same.