A historical murder mystery of love, revenge, and redemption, for fans of Murder in an Irish Village by Carlene O’Connor and The Irish Inheritance by M.J Lee.
Twenty years ago, Jo Devereux fled Mucknamore, the small Irish village where she grew up, driven away by buried secrets and hatreds. Now she is back and needs to uncover the truth of what really happened between her family and their friends, the O’Donovans, during the bitter Irish Civil War of 1922.
The consequences of that conflict carried down into Jo’s own life, shattering her relationship with Rory O’Donovan, the only man she ever loved.
And driving her from homeland, swearing she would never return.
Now, Jo’s estranged mother has died, leaving her a suitcase full of letters and diaries that raise searing questions about the past. Was her great-uncle really murdered by Dan O’Donovan, his best friend? If yes, why? And what part did her beloved grandmother play in this conflict that followed so soon after the Irish war of independence, when those who had won partial freedom for their country turned their guns on each other?
And why did nobody ever talk about that time?
Much to her own surprise, Jo finds herself staying on in Ireland, determined to disinter buried secrets and find the answers she seeks.
Over the course of a long, hot summer, she is astonished at the truths she uncovers about her grandmother and great-aunt, their part in Ireland’s fight for freedom, and the repercussions that resounded through her own life.
The consequences of a cold-blooded murder are still ricocheting down through the generations, as history begins to repeat itself. Rory, who still lives in Mucknamore and is mired in an unhappy marriage, draws Jo close again.
The strength of her feelings frightens her, but past pain makes her cautious, as does reading their shared family histories. She knows too well how the passion of rebellion sweeps people up — but has learned that the most important question is what happens after the rising.
Can Jo be true to herself, and also to the family she rejected when she was young and headstrong? Might this second chance of happiness reclaim the love once lost to them all?
Praise for Orna Ross and The Irish Trilogy
“A highly ambitious, engaging and evocative novel and a hauntingly captivating read.” – Sunday Independent
“No history book could reveal with as much compassion the impact of the Irish conflict on successive generations… This expertly crafted novel is an important work in terms of Irish social history, but it will also be enjoyed by anyone who appreciates intelligent and profound family sagas that make the reader count his own blessings.” — Historical Novel Society Review
“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 lyrical language, while still being a captivating read.” – Irish Independent
“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.” — Evening Herald
“Epic sweep…ambitious scope… an intelligent book.” — Sunday Tribune
“A riveting story…vividly brought to life.” — Emigrant Online