Rites of Passage: Five Irish Stories

Powerful, vivid, altogether compelling, and at times wryly comedic, Thomas Rice’s Rites of Passage: Five Irish Stories enthralls.

From the title story, in which a now successful professional confronts his once abuser, to the last,“Hard Truths,” wherein  a boy is, ultimately, witness to his mother’s singular strength, Rice’s rendered Irish dramas read like one’s own memories, the kind that have become guideposts or points on one’s personal compass.

There is beauty here, too, as in “Dreams of Tramore ,” and “All Souls’ Day,” stories that capture an altogether winning and Dylanesque yearning after life and love.

Surprising, but satisfying, turns of events abound, all of which deliver a deeply good read. First page to last, Rites of Passage is a profound entertainment, not one to be missed.

What readers have said…

To enter the very rural Irish setting of Rites of Passage is to join with Thomas Rice, the author, now long an American, in a dramatic rediscovery of the land of his boyhood. These five lightly fictionalized stories wonderfully capture the people, the beauty, the awe, and, yes, the violence of what was clearly a magical, if haunted, upbringing.
— Gil S.
It soon became clear that this was not just a book of stories, which of course it is, but of universal themes of character conflict resolution of relationships of navigation through life. These stories will keep you locked on with characters exuding the life and times of rural Ireland of the 1950s, plots twisting and turning surprisingly, dialogue rich in authentic experience.
— Mari F.
Thomas Rice is a wonderful storyteller. The five Irish stories from Rites of Passage have a ring of authenticity – mostly because these stories are not far from the truth. And truth sometimes can be stranger and more powerful than fiction. These stories are captivating, the dialect authentic, and the endings surprising. A great read!
— David S.