It was a real pleasure to be with Hannah at North Manchester FM yesterday chatting about books on the ‘Hannah’s Bookshelf’ show. You can listen to our conversation by clicking the link below.
We talked about reading, writing, my Martha’s Girls trilogy (of course) and I got to choose three books to be added to The Library at the End of Days – a kind of apocalypse reading list. I chose The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Jane Eyre, and Staying Alive – a brilliant poetry anthology.
On this day 100 years ago my mother Irene Goulding was born in Belfast. She and her younger sisters were the inspiration for my trilogy of novels set in N Ireland during WW2. Her first job was hand-painting linen tablecloths, but with the outbreak of war she went to work at Short Bros & Harland aircraft factory helping to build Stirling bombers. At the same time she and two younger sisters, Pat and Peggy, formed the ‘Golden Sisters’ singing in close-harmony – Belfast’s answer to the ‘Andrews Sisters’. As members of ENSA they entertained the troops and performed in concert and dance halls raising morale. Writing the books I began to see wartime life through their eyes and got to know them as young women. Sadly they’re all gone now but today I raise a glass to my mother, Irene. I’m so proud of you.