Cover image for In the castle of the Flynns: a novel
In the castle of the Flynns: a novel
Raleigh, Michael.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Naperville, IL : Sourcebooks Landmark, 2002.
Physical Description:
347 pages ; 22 cm
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 6.7 19.0 75582.
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Central Library

On Order



Michael Raleigh's "In the "Castle of the Flynns" is about a young boy growing up Irish in a vibrant 1950s Chicago neighborhood. Now grown and looking back on those years, Daniel recalls his bouts with grief and fear of abandonment as he learns to adjust to his new surroundings amidst his oddball family.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

The McCourt brothers can move over. The Chicago branch of the Irish mafia weighs in with a hilarious rendition of an Irish Catholic childhood, circa 1955. Raleigh breaks the mold set by his five previous novels featuring private detective Paul Whelan. His familiar, superior sense of place is here, but he adds an orphan, a family burdened by the love of drink and blessed with the gift of gab, a beautiful and brilliant nun, and a charismatic, slightly dangerous uncle. Seven-year-old Daniel Dorsey has lost his parents in an automobile accident. He is taken in by his grandparents, the Flynns, and his two bachelor uncles, and in the first unsteady months, Daniel ends up feeling sorry for the adults, who seem to have no clue about how to organize his daily schedule. But in the year that follows, through a number of key events in his family--a funeral, a wedding, a Labor Day baseball game--Daniel learns the great lesson of childhood: "They all belonged to me, and I to them." --Joanne Wilkinson

Publisher's Weekly Review

Raleigh's gentle new novel follows two years in the life of young Danny Dorsey. Orphaned in 1954 when he is seven, Danny is taken in by his extended Irish-American family. Though raised by all his relatives, he lives with his grandparents in the rambling house they rent on Chicago's North Side the "Castle of the Flynns." In the years that follow his parents' car crash, Danny mourns his loss but slowly adapts to a new life, as do all the relatives who help to raise him. Danny spends his summer days with Grandpa Flynn or Grandma Dorsey and explores the neighborhood with his cousin Matt, while at school his Aunt Teresa helps him settle down to his studies. Little drama propels this tale of ordinary pleasures, but what there is resides in the adventures of those around Danny, particularly in his uncle's pursuit of another man's girlfriend. That courtship leads to the novel's climax, a Labor Day baseball game rendered as a duel between Uncle Tom and his rival, Philly Clark. Raleigh, the author of five detective novels, chooses to tell this story in the style of a memoir. The prose is relaxed (too relaxed), the story loosely structured (too often the novel cranks unremittingly through the calendar), and there is little tension. Closing the book, the reader might feel a favorite uncle has spent too much time regaling him or her with windy but fond memories. There are, however, many tender characters lovingly depicted, and those readers who know Chicago's North Side may enjoy Raleigh's evocation of that neighborhood in the '50s. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved