The history is fine, but it was just enough to make me wish I had invested the time spent reading on a good narrative history of the period (roughly 1700 through 2000). UrIs uses fictional Catholic Northern Irish neighbors and best friends Connor Larkin and Seamus O'Neill to frame the story, but the vast sweep of time means that he is forced to condense much of the history into flashbacks, extended monologues by an old Irish tale spinner, or most awkwardly as obviously research repeated as stilted dialogue in the mouths of his young heros.
And the fictional components such as the love interests of the idolized Larkin are cliched, clunky, and at time cringe-worthy. Not the worst I've ever read (see Clive Cussler for that, or better, just trust me that it can get worse than this) but far from good literature.
But the history is interesting enough that the time spent is at least not painful. Just thinking that like truth is stranger than fiction, so is history better than fiction in this instance. Reward yourself with that and skip Uris.
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