West Wicklow Bookshelf

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Archive for the tag “Fiction”

Baltinglass Detective Reigns in Spain

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© The Publisher

Full title: The City in Darkness: a Stefan Gillespie novel

Creator / Author: Michael Russell

Item Type / Page count: Book / 338p

When Published: 2016

Publisher / Place of Publication: Constable / Carmelite House, 50 Victoria Embankment, London EC4Y 0DZ.

About: This is the third book in a series of historical crime fiction featuring the West Wicklow based Detective Inspector Stefan Gillespie. The action ranges from the Wicklow Mountains through Dublin and on to Spain and Portugal. The book is set in the early 1940’s which allows the author scope to use Second World War Europe and the ‘Emergency’ period in Ireland as backdrop to the story.

ID number(s): 9781472121929 / 9781472121912 / 9781472121943

WW Connection #1: The hometown of the main character is given as Baltinglass.

WW Connection #2: The author is a resident of the Baltinglass / Kiltegan area.

Extra #1: Opening lines: “There was barely a whisper of mist on the Upper Lake, a softness in the air where the water rippled among reeds and lapped on the pebble beach at the eastern end…”

Extra #2: Check Libraries Ireland for this publication.

Extra #3: Check OCLC WorldCat.org for this publication in libraries worldwide.

Extra #4: Read a review of this book courtesy of Irish Examiner newspaper

Extra #5: Visit the Author’s Website

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Another Stylish CK Story

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© The Publisher

Full title: Foster [a novella]

Creator / Author: Claire Keegan

Item Type / Page count: Book / 89p

When Published: 2010

Publisher / Place of Publication: Faber and Faber Limited / Bloomsbury House, 74-77 Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3DA United Kingdom.

About: The Oxford English Dictionary defines a novella as “a short novel or a long short story” Following on from two previous collections of short stories that were published to critical acclaim, the author now takes an opportunity to experiment with a slightly longer form. In this work, she relates the story of a young girl who is taken to live with foster parents. Gradually, the girl settles in and becomes very happy with the new situation. However, a dark secret remains to be revealed. ‘Foster’ won the Davy Byrnes Award for 2009. It first appeared in the New Yorker magazine, but this edition presents a revised and expanded version.

ID number(s):  9780571255658

WW Connection #1: The author was born and raised in the border area of Wicklow, Carlow and Wexford.

Extra #1: Opening line: ”Early on a Sunday, after first Mass in Clonegal, my father, instead of taking me home, drives deep into Wexford towards the coast where my mother’s people come from…”

Extra #1: Check Libraries Ireland for this publication.

Extra #2: Check OCLC WorldCat.org for this publication in libraries worldwide.

Extra #3: Link to reviews on Goodreads

Extra #4: Link to the original version of this story, courtesy of The New Yorker

Extra #5: Link to the Publisher’s website.

A Prizewinning Debut Collection

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© The Publisher

Full title: Antarctica [short stories]

Creator / Author: Claire Keegan

Item Type / Page count: Book / 209p

When Published: 1999

Publisher / Place of Publication: Faber and Faber Limited / 3 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AU United Kingdom.

About: This is the author’s first collection of short stories and one that became the winner of the Rooney Prize for Literature for 2000. This annual prize is awarded for a body of work that the judges consider to have exceptional promise. The stories are set in the deep south of America and in Ireland, reflecting the author’s experience and assimilation of both environments. The stories were re-published as Book 14 in the Irish Independent Irish Women Writers Collection in 2007.

ID number(s):  9780571203468

Contents:  Acknowledgements — Antarctica — Love in the Tall Grass — Where the Water’s Deepest — The Ginger Rogers Sermon – Storms — The Singing Cashier — Burns — Quare Name for a Boy — Ride if You Dare — Men and Women — Sisters — A Scent of Winter — You Can’t Be Too Careful — The Burning Palms — Passport Soup.

WW Connection #1: The author was born and raised in the border area of Wicklow, Carlow and Wexford.

Extra #1: Check Libraries Ireland for this publication.

Extra #2: Check OCLC WorldCat.org for this publication in libraries worldwide.

Extra #3: A review from Reading Matters

Extra #4: These stories have been translated into, and published in, several foreign languages.

Confessions of John Charles McNulty

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© The Publisher

Full title: The Temporary Gentleman [a novel]

Creator / Author: Sebastian Barry

Item Type / Page count: Book / 270p

When Published: 2014

Publisher / Place of Publication: Faber & Faber Limited / Bloomsbury House, 74-77 Great Russell Street London WC1B 3DA

About: Jack McNulty, the narrator in this novel, is a Sligo-born, ex-British Army soldier who finds himself in Africa to where he was posted during World War II. It is 1957 and he really wants to return home to Sligo. However, what is it that prevents him from returning? Does the setting down of the story of his somewhat dissolute life allow us to confer some kind of redemption on him?

ID number(s): 9780571276967 / 9780571276998

WW Connection #1: Author has resided in West Wicklow, including the Tinahely area.

Extra #1: Opening lines: ‘It’s a beautiful night and no mistake. You would never think there was a war somewhere’…….

Extra #2: Check Libraries Ireland for this publication.

Extra #3: Check OCLC WorldCat.org for this publication in libraries worldwide.

Extra #4: Link to the Publisher’s website.

A Classic Collection

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© The Publisher

Full title: Walk the blue fields [short stories]

Creator / Author: Claire Keegan

Item Type / Page count: Book / 183p

When Published: 2007

Publisher / Place of Publication: Faber and Faber Limited / 3 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AU United Kingdom.

About: This is the author’s second collection of short stories and one that has received outstanding critical acclaim, including being chosen as the winner of the Edge Hill Prize for the Short Story 2008. The judges commented: “Her mastery of language and her full-blooded and flowing narratives impress on the reader a certain bleak and tender vision, which has much in common with that of the great Irish writer John McGahern. Yet it is distinctive, personal and modern. Her stories stand at the strong point where myth and reality intersect.”

The availability of certain stories and the order in which they appear differ depending on the edition.

ID number(s):  9780571233069 / 9780571233076 / 9780802170491

Contents: The long and painful death – The parting gift — Walk the blue fields — Dark horses — The forester’s daughter – Close to the water’s edge — Surrender — Night of the quicken trees.

WW Connection #1: The author was born and raised in the border area of Wicklow, Carlow and Wexford.

Extra #1: Check Libraries Ireland for this publication.

Extra #2: Check OCLC WorldCat.org for this publication in libraries worldwide.

Extra #3: A review from the Dublin Review of Books

Extra #4: These stories have also been published in the USA and translated into several languages.

A Novel Take on Family History

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© The Author

Full title: A Journey in Time [a novel]

Creator / Author: Maureen Francis Doyle

Item Type / Page count: Book / 387p [also available as an e-book]

When Published: 2015

Publisher / Place of Publication: Outskirts Press Inc. / 10940 S. Parker Rd., 515 Parker, Colorado 80134, U.S.A.

About: This is a novel of Ireland, of famine, of emigration and of new lives forged in foreign lands. Using her personal family history and scaffolding the narrative with actual historical events the author, Maureen Francis Doyle, has created an utterly believable story. Her great grandfather, John Doyle, left Ireland in 1848, never to return. This book is one imagined scenario of his subsequent experiences. Numerous descendants of the Irish diaspora could have a similar story to tell, but it is doubtful if many could render it so skilfully and in such compelling fashion.

ID number(s): 9781478758709

Chapters: [Part I] A Note Before You Begin the Journey – Wicklow, Ireland – Thomas and Winfred – Samuel and Charlotte Castleford & The Lord Fitzpatrick Estate – Typhoid Fever – Time to Leave Ireland – The Shillelagh Workhouse – Probationary Ward and Employment — Journey to the Ship. [Part II] Sailing to America – Liverpool – Life at Sea – Quebec – The Orphan House – The Journey Continues – Kingston. [Part III] Arrival – The Farm – Potash and Settling in – Challenges – The Auction – The Family Arrives – A New Life – Grand Trunk Railroad & the First Real Christmas — The Wedding – A New Family and War – Newburgh Academy – William – The Keilty Saloon – The Boxing Match / William’s Departure – Joseph and Mary Francis – John – A Note on History by Jim Rees.

WW Connection #1: The family of the real-life John Doyle lived in the Coolkenno / Shillelagh area of in West Wicklow.

Extra #1: Opening lines: “There is nothing colder than an Irish winter. John stood in the frigid air pulling his thin coat around him feeling the cold seep through the cloth….”

Extra #2: Link to the author’s website and blog.

Extra #3: Link to the Publisher’s website

Extra #4: Check Libraries Ireland for this publication.

Extra #5: Check OCLC WorldCat.org for this publication in libraries worldwide.

Hat-Tip: To the author, Maureen Francis Doyle, for making the book available for viewing prior to listing on this blog.

Constable Commits Murder in Dunlavin

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© The Publisher

Full title: Running with crows: the life and death of a Black and Tan [a novel]

Creator / Author: DJ Kelly

Item Type / Page count: Book / 284p

When Published: 2013

Publisher / Place of Publication: FeedARead Publishing / United Kingdom

About: This novel is based on a real life person, Constable William Mitchell. He was the only member of the British Crown Forces to be sentenced to death for murder during the War of Independence in Ireland. In this book, the author explores the scenarios around the murder incident and the politics of the era which made Mitchell’s 1921 execution an inevitability.

ID number(s): 9781782991861

Chapters: Foreword – Acknowledgements – The Joy – Monto – Wild Irish Rose – Bermondsey Days – The Mutton Lancers – The Dog and the Rabbit — Mutton Curry – Mutton Chops – The Somme – Rouenation – Alice – The Wicklow Warriors – A Dead Man’s Hat – The Second Man – As the Crow Flies – Epilogue.

WW Connection #1: William Mitchell was a temporary constable in the RIC and stationed in Dunlavin in West Wicklow. He was convicted of the murder of local magistrate, Robert Dixon of Milltown, Dunlavin.

Extra #1: Opening lines: “The sorry ruins of Dublin’s elegant Custom House smouldered still on the quayside, yet the black waters of the Liffey lapped by unconcernedly. The sun was rising and wary citizens began to appear and go about their business as best they could on an otherwise pleasant June morning….”

Extra #1: Check Libraries Ireland for this publication.

Extra #2: Check OCLC WorldCat.org for this publication in libraries worldwide.

Extra #3: Contains four black & white photographs.

Extra #4: Read a review of this book via the blogs The Irish Story and An Irish Village

Extra #5: Link to the author’s website and blog

Extra #6: Browse the 1911 Census entry for Robert Dixon in Dunlavin.

A Farm and Family Saga

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© The Publisher

Full title: Deny Me Not [a novel]

Creator / Author: Margaret Hawkins

Item Type / Page count: Book / 430p

When Published: 2013

Publisher / Place of Publication: Bushel Press / Co. Wexford

About: Hannah Casey has never known her father but when she becomes aware of his name she searches him out. This novel teases out the dramatic events her arrival has on her otherwise childless father and his wider family. Farmland and inheritance is a combustible mix. What chickens will come home to roost before the book’s end?

ID number(s): 9780957534223

WW Connection #1: The author is originally from Tinahely in south-west Wicklow and attended Carnew Vocational School.

Extra #1: Opening lines: ““Odd.” Hannah Casey thought there was nothing in the envelope at first, it looked so flat. It was her mother’s handwriting, she knew, but weak and spidery this time, as if control had gone out of the hand behind it…..”

Extra #2: Check Libraries Ireland for this publication.

Extra #3: Check OCLC WorldCat.org for this publication in libraries worldwide.

Extra #4: Read an excerpt from the book via the author’s website:  http://www.margarethawkins.ie/deny-me-not/

Baltinglass Detective in the Big Apple

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© The Publisher

Full title: The City of Strangers [a novel]

Creator / Author: Michael Russell

Item Type / Page count: Book / 486p

When Published: 2013

Publisher / Place of Publication: Avon / 77-85 Fulham Place Road, London W6 8JB.

About: Another adventure for the West Wicklow based detective, Garda Sergeant Stefan Gillespie. A suspected murderer of a woman in Dublin becomes a fugitive and our hero is sent to New York to bring him back to face justice. However, that is just the start of the story and when Stefan bumps into an old friend in New York, things take a more complicated turn.

ID number(s): 9781847563477

WW Connection #1: The hometown of the main character is given as Baltinglass.

WW Connection #2: The author is a resident of the Baltinglass / Kiltegan area.

Extra #1: Opening lines: “The storm did not come suddenly. All day the wind from the Atlantic has blown hard and cold and fast against Pallas Strand…”

Extra #2: Check Libraries Ireland for this publication.

Extra #3: Check OCLC WorldCat.org for this publication in libraries worldwide.

Extra #4: Read a review courtesy of writing.ie

Extra #5: Visit the Author’s Website

And Then There Was Rose

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© The Publisher

Full title: Restless spirit: the story of Rose Quinn [a novel]

Creator / Author: Margaret Hawkins

Item Type / Page count: Book / 287p / 288p

When Published: 2006 (1st ed.) / 2013 (2nd ed.)

Publisher / Place of Publication (1st edition): Mercier Press / Douglas Village, Cork

Publisher / Place of Publication (2nd edition): Bushel Press / Co. Wexford

About: This novel is based on a real life person, Rose Quinn (1870-1907), and can be considered a biography in everything but name. Rose Quinn died in an asylum less than a year after being committed there by her husband. The narrator’s father only discloses this information about his aunt shortly before he died. The book provides a picture of what asylum life was like and how Irish society of the early twentieth-century looked on families who had a relative in the asylum. The book also traces parallels between the narrator’s life and that of Rose Quinn – the restless spirit.

ID number(s): 9781856354967 / 1856354962 / 9780957534209

Chapters: Prologue – ‘And then there was Rose’ – Summer 1906 – Extraordinary story – Breakthrough – Matchmaking – Records seen — Soldiers and spectacle – Revelation – The child – Liverpool bound – Clay game – Pattern at St. Senan’s – Wedding day – Response – Committal – Workhouse – More Connection – Transfer – Coming home – Asylum – The way it works: Catherine – Final journey – Big day – More coincidence – Loose ends – Research at St. Senan’s – Appendix 1: Other asylums – Appendix 2: Mental health legislation — Bibliography – A poem for Rose – About the author.

WW Connection #1: The author is originally from Tinahely in south-west Wicklow and attended Carnew Vocational School.

Extra #1: Check Libraries Ireland for this publication.

Extra #2: Check OCLC WorldCat.org for this publication in libraries worldwide.

Extra #3: Read an excerpt from the book via the author’s website:  http://www.margarethawkins.ie/deny-me-not/published-work/fiction/

Extra #4: Browse the 1901 Census for Rose Quinn.

Extra #5: Contains several black & white personal and documentary photographs.

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