After The Rising & Before The Fall
The first two books in The Irish Trilogy, a historical family murder mystery of love, revenge and redemption, in a special two-for-the-price-of-one edition.
Jo Devereux returns to Mucknamore, the small Irish village where she grew up, driven away by buried secrets and hatreds. She wants to uncover the truth about what really went on between her family and their friends, the O’Donovans, during Ireland’s bitter Civil War in the 1920s.
Was her great-uncle really murdered by Dan O’Donovan, his best friend? And what part did her beloved grandmother play in this conflict?
The consequences of that bitter division carried down the decades into Jo’s own life, shattering her relationship with Rory O’Donovan, the only man she ever loved, and driving her to leave Ireland, swearing she’d never return.
But she’s back and Rory, now married to another, is urging her to rebel, to forget the past and start over again. Combing the words of her ancestors with what was left unsaid, Jo is unprepared for her reaction, as she comes to understand the price she, and Ireland, had to pay for freedom.
And what of Rory, drawing ever closer. Is what she is learning about their shared past a key to the future once denied them?
SUNDAY INDEPENDENT: One is immersed in this epic story immediately and effortlessly… The main characters are so well-drawn that you feel you have heard about them in your own life. The novel’s strength is that it puts culpable, fragile flesh and blood – lots of blood – on a defining moment in Irish history… Of particular delight are the many unexpected twists and turns. When you think you’ve figured out the secrets, you may have got it all wrong. Orna Ross has written a highly ambitious, engaging and evocative novel and a hauntingly captivating read.
IRISH INDEPENDENT: This debut novel from Orna Ross [is] the sort of massive book you could happily curl up with for the entire winter, an impressive canvas interweaving a contemporary story of love, emigration and loss with the complex world of civil war politics, emerging women’s rights and buried secrets. It explores the influence of our families on who we later become, in literary, lyrical language, while still being a captivating read.
EVENING HERALD: The writer is tackling a central theme – and one that’s been sleeping quietly during the almost-century since the Irish State’s foundation: the ideals and ideas of that time and how they affect the very different Ireland of today. The story-within-a-story – desire, hatred, love and a killing in the Civil War – is loosely based on a Wexford murder of the time and … is a gripping story. The writer has taken on a tough job – interweaving past and present and making them strike fire off each other… [and] has made brilliant use of original sources, including local historians in Wexford, adding the icing on the cake.