What is the summary for Born in Shame?

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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Well, the first thing that's important to understand is that this is the third novel in a trilogy:  The Irish Born Trilogy.  The third installment is titled Born in Shame, and it is about a new gal: Shannon Bodine.

Shannon Bodine lives in New York City busily doing her job as a computer graphic artist. Unfortunately for Shannon, her father died unexpected a year ago and her mother is dying now as well (this time from cancer). It is Shannon's mom's last words that disturb Shannon: the man she thought was her father was NOT her father. Shannon's true father is named Thomas Concannon. Mrs. Bodine had an affair with Concannon when she visited Ireland, and that is how Shannon was conceived.

The plot thickens when a private detective shows up and tells Shannon that her two half-sisters (also daughters of Concannon) both live in County Clare, Ireland and would like to meet her!  Shannon is hesitant to drop everything at her job in order to visit Ireland, but she can't get the idea out of her head.  Therefore, Shannon finally goes to meet her siblings on the emerald isle.  There is a beautiful description of Ireland here as Shannon travels. 

When Shannon arrives, she finally gets to greet her half-sisters, but Shannon has put up an emotional wall around herself, and doesn't open her heart to either sister.  It is at this point when Shannon meets Murphy Muldoon, a very romantic Irish farmer.  Poetic, handsome, and hard working, Shannon is drawn to Murphy.  For Murphy, it was love at first sight:  a dream come true. 

Shannon still has her emotional wall up as Murphy tries to win her.  Shannon, being the stubborn and headstrong Irish girl she is, she is making it hard for Murphy.  Murphy insists she can transform her career into one as a painter (instead of one as a graphic artist).  Meanwhile, Shannon's emotional wall is coming down with her sisters as she gets to know them better. In a beautiful and romantic climax, Shannon finally allows all of her dreams to come true with Murphy, and the trilogy ends.

In conclusion, please realize that the two half-sisters have been fully explored in the first two novels.  One half-sister is named Maggie and is the featured character in the first book:  Born in Fire.  The other half-sister is named Brianna (always shortened to "Brie") and is the main character in the second book:  Born in Ice.  Therefore, Shannon is a beautiful ending to the trilogy in Born in Shame.

 
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shmindle | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) Honors

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Born in Shame is a novel by Nora Roberts. The plot follows a young woman named Shannon, as she just discovers, from her dying mother, that her biological father is an Irishman named Thomas Concannon, whom she had an affair with. Upon hearing this news, Shannon is both surprised and angry. After her mother's death, Shannon accepts an invitation to stay with her sisters in Ireland. She meets her neighbor, Murphy, and it's undeniable that the two have chemistry. In Ireland, Shannon rediscovers her passion for painting, and is even offered an opportunity. Despite her second life in Ireland, she still must deal with her responsibilities back in America. Murphy proposes to Shannon, but she tells him that she cannot stay and has to return to New York. Shannon stays up painting the entire night. She also looks at the letters exchanged between her mother and Thomas, and she understands what her mother went through for her. Taking her newly finished painting, she meets Murphy and reveals that she wants to stay to paint and to be his wife.

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