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Dancing in the Wind: The Story So Far
The story opens in 1916. The world is at war, Irish freedom fighters have just staged an armed rebellion in Dublin, and the three characters we first met in Her Secret Rose are deeply unsettled. The world famous poet, WB Yeats, “having come to 50 years” has decided it’s time he was married. By coincidence, the love of his life, Maud Gonne, has just been widowed by the 1916 Rising and she is frantic to get to Ireland to join the freedom fighters there. And her daughter, Iseult, now 23 years old and as beautiful as her mother was at that age, longs for love, escape, and artistic achievement.
As three talented mavericks try to redeem their past against a background of escalating war and revolution, can they rise to what they truly need from each other?
Dancing in the Wind: This week’s extract: Just Get Him Here
Outside Maud Gonne’s exotic, Moorish-style villa a donkey and cart is sitting in the middle of the carriage turning circle, looking incongruous. And on the back of the cart, and Iseult is sitting, long legs dangling, suitcase beside her.
Maud hands her a small food parcel and Iseult breaks the seal to have look. Some bread and cheese, an apple. She feels the bread, wrinkles her nose. “I know, I know”, Maud says. “The best we can do. Oh, these times”.
“No good in complaining,” Delaney says from the doorway.
The whole lot of them were out, a leaving committee to see her off. Seán was waving an Irish tricolour flag, as big as himself.
In the distance, an ominous rumble. The Normandy field guns starting up. “Ma belle, you’ll be careful won’t you”?
“Shure, she’ll be grand,” says Delaney. “They’ll never touch a young girl”
“Thank you, Delaney”, Iseult replies, “for your kind concern. I shall miss you too”.
In the awkward silence Maud touches Iseult’s hair, “You know if there was any other way, ma belle…? You do know that”?
“Yes Moura,” Iseult gives her mother the sop of her old pet name but that’s it. She has no more to give and only wants now to escape her intensity. At the same time she wants to stay, to go walking among the flowers and grass, bees and butterflies that she doesn’t want to be leaving. Paris and Millevoye. London and Uncle Willie. Cities and men. War and danger.
Maud realizes that she won’t receive an answer, and nods to the driver, who whips the old donkey into a slow start. Delaney goes back inside but Maud and Seán, stand watching her retreat. Dear little Bichon, waving his flag, vigorously.
“Just get him here, darling, that’s all”, Maud shouts after her. ”Just get him here. I’ll do the rest”.
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