Trinity by Leon Uris – Book Review

Trinity Leon Uris Book Cover

Rating: 4.75/5
Source : JustBooks Library, Bangalore
Year of Release: 1976

Trinity is the story of Ireland from the Great Irish Famine in 1840s to the Easter Rising of 1916. More than that it is the story of Irish Catholics, their struggle in their own land for the sake of their religious beliefs, the British colonization and exploitation of Ireland.As usually seen in novels by Leon Uris, Trinity is a beautiful blend of fiction and history. There are characters which are entwined very well to portray the history in a very interesting way. This is what makes Leon Uris novels like Exodus so much fun to read.

Seamus O’Neill is the narrator of the story. The story starts while Conor Larkin the protagonist and Seamus are in their early adolescence. There are other characters in the story like Roger Hubble the British aristocrat, Cornelia his wife, Sir Fredrick West, but the focus of the book is the three generations of Larkin family mainly the life of Conor Larkin.

Conor Larkin just like his father and grand father are rebel Catholics who understand the depth of the exploitation faced by Irish Catholics. The never ending hatred between Protestants and Catholics in Ireland has been conveniently exploited by the British Empire to implement the ‘Divide and Rule’ policy.

My Thoughts

I was initially scared to start reading this book as a 900 page book is quite a long read. But I couldn’t put it down once I started it. The story did feel a bit long towards the second half, but that lasted only for a few pages. Personally I enjoyed every bit of this book. It is true that the history portrayed in this novel may be far from the actual truth, but from my past experience I know that it cannot be too far from truth either.

Conor Larkin is the strong point of the story. Many can say that he is a larger than life character, but I believe his character is not an impossible one either; otherwise the world could never have had such great leaders like Mahatma Gandhiji, Nelson Mandela etc who strived hard for their causes. Conor Larkin is portrayed as a strong man who cannot get the cause of Ireland from his life. Though he was many a times tempted to flee Ireland, he always comes back to his own country.

The history of Ireland was something which never came into my realm of thought until I started reading this book. Even the difference or enmity that existed between Protestants and Catholics in the past was unknown to me. So this book was a total eye opener to me.

I find it difficult to put down my precise thoughts on this particular book. So I would just stop after recommending it to every one who doesn’t get scared by a 900 page book. Believe me. Try reading it, the story will take you till the end of the book :) And I am currently tempted to read more on these subjects. ( which should be cured very soon when I got hold of another great book)

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Other books by Leon Uris reviewed on this blog:

16 thoughts on “Trinity by Leon Uris – Book Review

  1. Bookworm

    I think I am going to give this one a shot… Ireland and its history has always fascinated me… This seems like a good book to know more about it :)

  2. Anonymous

    Yes, I loved this book. To me, Conor Larkin, was the prototype of Michael Collins, IRA Leader.
    A must-read and definitely well researched. I could not put it down…and 900 pages is long but it flies when you get into the book.

  3. David Davidson

    Is anyone bothered by the fact that Seamus O’Neill, the narrator, is killed at the end of the book? In the mechanics of narration, then who is talking for Seamus throughout the novel?

  4. David Davidson

    Seamus O’Neill is killed at the end of this novel. This presents a narrative issue since Seamus is the first person narrator for a significant portion of the book. If he is dead, then who is narrating?

    1. isaac

      Just finished reading Trinity and came looking for book reviews. I loved the book and I share your trouble with the narrator Seamus dying. And I am REALLY glad that I saw your post AFTER I read the book!

    2. Elizabeth

      @David I am so sorry that I did not reply to your comment before.
      Probably dead people can come back to tell stories through other people. :P Anyway I was not much bothered because the narrator’s death is not an important point from the story point of view, though such a discrepancy should have been avoided.

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  9. G.DeArment

    I just started reading this book and am amazed by the detail a fictional history Have always looked at these religious wars and differences from the protestant viewpoint. Now I see why so many Catholics view the Reformation from a variety of perspectives. Depending on what culture one experences, perhaps, helps one to see that both sides had a very limited standard of conduct dependent on ones economic level. Had I been in this set of circumstances my religious living idea and standards would be completely different. I still believe that ones personal walk with God determines how one treats his fellow man. Mans ihumanity to man is what history is made up of. Anyone who wonders aabout the great enigma of human existence, especially how people can be so insensitive and cruel, it’s a must to see what happened in Geneisis is true and that the results are that we are blind and our hearts are made of stone concerning our relationship to the Creator. When God’s Spirit is taken out of the world and man there is no longer any reason left for us to treat each other with care and concern. Then fools will rush in with the idea of free will but the only thing free about our will is that we rush toward hell thinking we are doing what is best for God’s creation. Only the infinite personal Creator God knows what is best for us and his creation.Man’s unregenerated mind is nothing but a factory of idolitry that produces more and more complex ways to tangle up each others world.


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