This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
Reviewed by Debs Carr
It's April 1914 in Dublin and Katie Crilly is horrified to discover that her twin brother, Liam, has joined up. She has nothing to take her mind off her dull life with days spent at home being 'improved' by her mother. Katie finds it hard to reconcile her parent’s refusal to let her take a Master’s Degree with Liam’s immediate acceptance into the family firm. To escape the interminable boredom, Katie accepts the offer of a known radical and suffragette, Dorothy Colcough, helping with the research for her book on Dublin’s city monuments. She loves her job and becomes close to Dolly and her friend May, looking forward to visits to their home. Once the book is complete Katie isn’t sure how she’ll fill her time, but then she is caught up in the terrifying conflict of the Easter Rising, becoming embroiled in danger as she tries to assist those she cares most about. She begins to realize how different Liam’s world must have been at the Front before his death and also has to face those who oppose everything her brother was fighting for before he died. During the uprising she meets Hubie Wilson, now disabled and haunted by his experiences. Hubie fought with Liam and tells her more about her brother’s death as they face the chaos of the city all around them.This book is beautifully written. The heart-breaking and violent story takes place over an 18 month period when Katie has to cope with things she could have previously never imagined. She has to battle the loss of her brother, her mother’s frustratingly old-fashioned ways and seeing people she’s known for years in a completely different light, while being braver than anyone could have expected her to be.
I loved her friendship with the older ladies, Dolly and May, and her relationships with her two, very different, sisters. While I enjoyed Katie’s growing closeness to Hubie, I also looked forward to the scenes with her brother’s local friend, Con. I thought that Paschal was a great inclusion, but you'll have to read the book to find out more about him.