There was nowhere more fitting to launch a book about a Belfast family in the war years than this fantastic museum. The story of the city through those momentous times was all around us – the blitz, the role of women, the arrival of the Americans and above all the courage and tenacity of the people of Northern Ireland. The Golden Sisters and, of course, Martha would have found it both familiar and exciting and I’m sure they would have been happy to join Noreen (Sheila’s daughter) when she took to the stage to sing some songs of the period ‘Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree’ and ‘Sentimental Journey’. Many thanks to the museum and Blackstaff Press for a wonderful evening.
You can click on the link below to see the museum website and the small display of Golden Sisters photos and the scrapbook that inspired the novels.
Thanks to the staff at Belfast Central Library for their warm welcome and to everyone who came along to spend a wet Monday evening with me. The library is celebrating 125 years of lending books to the citizens of Belfast. I remember being taken to the library when I was a child of 3 or 4 and being amazed at all the books and at being allowed to borrow one to take home.
When I wrote Martha’s Girls I wanted to recall some of the traditions of my Belfast family and one of the happiest for me was at Easter time when we decorated hard boiled eggs and a wicker basket to carry them to our picnic. I don’t know if many families on Easter Sunday in the North of Ireland still go in search of a good hill down which to roll their eggs and I’m not sure it’s ever been a tradition in the rest of Ireland or the UK. Anyway, click on the link below to join Martha and her girls on their egg-rolling picnic to experience some nostalgia or an insight into one family’s Easter ritual.
I’m delighted to say that Martha’s Girls has now been published by Blackstaff Press, the leading Northern Ireland publisher.The novel is set in Belfast during the early years of World War II – indeed I’ve always thought that Belfast is as much a character in the book as Martha and her daughters – so it seems particularly appropriate that Blackstaff have decided to publish it.
New publisher- new cover
I love the new image of the book with its soft colours and the striking picture of the girls set against the view up Donegall Place towards the City Hall. The blurb, too, concentrates on the girls and brings to the fore the romantic aspects of the novel.
I’m looking forward to being in Belfast next week to promote the novel and to meet some of the readers who bought the first edition as well as new readers who enjoy family sagas with plenty of romance and drama. If you’re in Belfast on Saturday 19 October I’ll be at Easons in Donegall Place – please come along and say hello.