Falling in love with the enemy is the ultimate act of betrayal…
1917. A farm girl from Cavan, Veronica McDermott is desperate to find more to life than peeling potatoes. Persuading her family to let her stay with her aunt and uncle in Dublin so she can attend secretarial college, she has no idea what she is getting into. Recruited by Fr Michael O’Flanagan to type for Eamon De Valera, Veronica is soon caught up in the danger and intrigue of those fighing for Ireland’s independence from Britain.
The attentions of a handsome British soldier, Major Harry Fairfax, do not go unnoticed by Veronica’s superiors. But when Veronica is tasked with earning his affections to gather intelligence for Sinn Féin, it isn’t long before her loyalty to her countrymen and her feelings for Harry are in conflict. To choose one is to betray the other…
Inspired by real life events and marking the centenary of the end of the War of Independence, Dublin’s Girl is a thrilling historical debut from an exciting new Irish voice.
Don’t let the cover of Dublin’s Girl fool you, this was anything but a simple love story. It was the story of a nation that fought for independence, of a young women who found herself unwittingly involved in the struggle risking her own life for the love of her country.
Lawlor’s Veronica was a naive country girl, thrust onto the streets of Dublin, as she embarked on her secretarial course and a more exciting life. What she and the reader did not expect was just how exciting and indeed dangerous her new life would become. Handpicked by Father O’Flanagan to type for Sinn Fein activist Eamon De Valera she got a whole lot more than she bargained for. It opened up a world of police raids, of soldiers on streets, of subversive manoeuvres by Sinn Fein, and a whole gamut of political rhetoric from both sides.
I found it fascinating, as I didn’t know much of Southern Ireland’s history after the first world war and what was even more remarkable was the brutality from both sides as they each fought for what they thought was their right.
I liked that Lawlor chose to look at the conflict from a woman’s perspective, and the role and impact they had. Who would have thought a typist would play should a pivotal role?
That pivotal role was further expanded when Veronica met Major Harry Fairfax, a chance meeting that put her in further danger, but a danger that she was willing to take as something else began to grow between them. Lawlor explored Veronica’s dilemma as her affections for Harry overtook the danger, as she had to weigh up the consequences of falling in love with the so called enemy. There were illicit meetings in tea shops, in seaside towns, the frowns and looks of disgust from those around them, long separations when you wondered if Harry felt the same or just using her to get to the rebels.
Lawlor skillfully turned the screws, as the clashes between the two sides escalated and Veronica found herself where no woman wished to be. I held my breath as I waited to see what Lawlor would do, if Harry would be the gentleman and hero I so wanted him to be. Now, there is no way I am going to spoil the ending and let on what happened, and you will just have to buy of borrow Dublin’s Girl and find out for yourselves
As an aside please read the story behind the novel, as it was equally fascinating when you discovered that Lawlor’s great aunt was the real typist to Eamon De Valera.
I would like to thank Aria Fiction for a copy of Dublin’s Girl to read and review and to Vicky Joss for inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogtour.
About the author
Dublin’s Girl is Eimear Lawlor’s first novel and inspired by the true story of her great aunt who typed for Eamon De Valera. She lives with her family in Kilkenny.
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