Tuesday, 5 February 2019

#WorldReads - Five Books From Northern Ireland

If this is your first visit to my WorldReads blog series, the idea of the posts is to encourage and promote the reading of global literature. On the 5th of each month I highlight five books I have read from a particular country and you can see links to previous countries' posts at the end of this post as well as finding out how to join in the challenge.

Click the book titles or cover images to visit their Literary Flits book review pages.

This month we are going to Northern Ireland!
Enjoy!



Edinburgh in the 1930s. The Lennox family is having trouble with its youngest daughter. Esme is outspoken, unconventional, and repeatedly embarrasses them in polite society. Something will have to be done.
Years later, a young woman named Iris Lockhart receives a letter informing her that she has a great-aunt in a psychiatric unit who is about to be released.
Iris has never heard of Esme Lennox and the one person who should know more, her grandmother Kitty, seems unable to answer Iris's questions. What could Esme have done to warrant a lifetime in an institution? And how is it possible for a person to be so completely erased from a family's history?



Midwinter Break by Bernard MacLaverty

A retired couple, Gerry and Stella Gilmore, fly from their home in Scotland to Amsterdam for a long weekend. A holiday to refresh the senses, to do some sightseeing and generally to take stock of what remains of their lives. Their relationship seems safe, easy, familiar – but over the course of the four days we discover the deep uncertainties which exist between them.
Gerry, once an architect, is forgetful and set in his ways. Stella is tired of his lifestyle, worried about their marriage and angry at his constant undermining of her religious faith. Things are not helped by memories which have begun to resurface of a troubled time in their native Ireland. As their midwinter break comes to an end, we understand how far apart they are – and can only watch as they struggle to save themselves.



Lies Of Silence by Brian Moore

When Michael Dillon is ordered by the IRA to park his car in the carpark of a Belfast hotel, he is faced with a moral choice which leaves him absolutely nowhere to turn. He knows that he is planting a bomb that would kill and maim dozens of people. But he also knows that if he doesn't, his wife will be killed.



The Wooden Hill by Jamie Guiney

As we climb the wooden hill to bed each night we trace our life's journey from birth, then each step toward death, the final sleep. This collection of short stories, by Jamie Guiney, explores what it is to be human at every stage of life, from the imminence of a new birth in `We Knew You Before You Were Born', through to adolescence and the camaraderie of youthful friendships as portrayed in `Sam Watson And The Penny World Cup'. Ultimately, all of our lives stride towards old age and the certainty of death, as poignantly evoked in the title story, `The Wooden Hill'.



Music Love Drugs War by Geraldine Quigley

A tender, devastating coming-of-age debut novel about friendship, innocence and war.

The end of the school year is approaching, and siblings Paddy and Liz McLaughlin, Christy Meehan, Kevin Thompson and their friends will soon have to decide what they're going to do with the rest of their lives. But it's hard to focus when there's the allure of their favourite hangout place, the dingy 'Cave', where they go to drink and flirt and smoke. Most days, Christy, Paddy and Kevin lie around listening to Dexys and Joy Division. Through a fog of marijuana, beer and budding romance, the future is distant and unreal.
But this is Derry in 1981, and they can't ignore the turmoil of the outside world. A friend is killed, and Christy and Paddy, stunned out of their stupor, take matters into their own hands. Some choices are irreversible, and choosing to fight will take hold of their lives in ways they never imagined.
With humour and compassion, Geraldine Quigley reveals the sometimes slippery reasons behind the decisions we make, and the unexpected and intractable ways they shape our lives.


That's it for February's WorldReads from Northern Ireland. I hope I have tempted you to try reading a book from this country and if you want more suggestions, click through to see all my Literary Flits reviews of Northern Irish-authored books! If you fancy buying any of the five I have suggested, clicking through the links from this blog to do so would mean I earn a small commission payment.

You can join in my WorldReads Challenge at any time! Simply read 1 or more books from a different country each month, write a post about it/them, grab the button below and add it to your post. Don't forget to pop back here and Comment your link so I can visit!




Instructions: Select all code above, copy it and paste it inside your blog post as HTML


If you missed any earlier WorldReads posts, I have already 'visited'

Africa: Nigeria, South Africa, Zimbabwe

Americas: Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Jamaica, United States of America,

Asia: India, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Japan, Russia, South Korea, Turkey

Australasia: Australia, New Zealand,

Europe: Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland,

In March I will be highlighting five books by Kenyan authors. See you on the 5th to find out which ones!

8 comments:

  1. Dying for a Living by Diana Stevan was set in Ireland and I absolutely loved it. Also, I really love this idea of reading around the world. I try to do that :)

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    1. It's so interesting for me to get #ownvoices novels which often show a completely different perspective on cultures or events to that which I usually encounter

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  2. Those all sound interesting in their own way.

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    1. I did try to find some that didn't focus on the Troubles. I think Esme Lennox was probably my favourite though Midwinter Break was excellent too

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  3. Book for discussion in my Reading Group last month was Lies of Silence. It provided plenty of content for discussion and we all rated it highly.

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    1. I can imagine Lies Of Silence would make a brilliant book club read. Just the 'what would you do' discussion could get pretty philosophical, or heated!

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