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Fadó, A Memoir of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

By Kevin O'Donnell

Ireland , 1835 – the author’s remote ancestral home, Arranmore Island, languishes on the eve of famine. Meanwhile, carved from the Illinois prairie, a small settlement rises, eventually becoming his boyhood hometown, Mundelein. Fadó (f’doe), Irish for "long ago," chronicles the surprising confluence of these two cultures. Generations of family heritage, immigration, triumph, and tragedy reveal fascinating ties to a much bigger world. Resonating throughout is the story of a son eager to please his father and prove his worth.

Fadó is an excellent new book, recently published, and available now through Xlibris, Amazon and Barnes & Noble

For information on the author, his book, and for reviews, a video and how to order, visit the

Fadó Website

I have my copy, but rather than waiting to finish reading it so I can write a review myself, the following review really sums up my feelings about it :

Fadó A Review
By: Aidan Gallagher

The painstaking research is evident in this raw, honest memoir which has two very interesting parallel chronologies: Ireland and the USA. It really is fascinating to trace the history of two communities. It grips the reader and holds one's attention to the very last page. This is a must-read book for anyone interested in history.

Kevin O Donnell paints an acutely accurate and vivid series of pictures with wonderful descriptions of people and places - in Arranmore [Ireland] and in Mundelein. We are carried along by the flowing narrative. And as we walk the journey with him, we discover that it is not always pleasant.

Fado is brilliantly crafted; the descriptions jump off the page and it is in the authors account of life for him as a child that he excels. The wonderful innocence of youth is beautifully narrated. We laugh and cry in almost equal measure at his escapades. It is also searingly honest. There is an Irish phrase that springs to mind: - "Bonn an fhrinne searbh"- truth is bitter. But there is no bitterness in this memoir - just an acute understanding of the never-ending struggle of his parents and Kevin's unquestioning love for them which shines through like a beacon.

Buy this book, read it, absorb it, then read it again. It is a terrific book from a gifted writer.

Kevin, you have left all of us a real treasure.

- Aidan Gallagher,
Co-author of Arranmore Links:
The Families of Arranmore with Stories and Some History.

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Lindel Buckley

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