REVIEWS AND PROMOTIONS – GREAT WINTER READING
I WOULD LIKE TO THANK J. B. JOHNSTON FOR INVITING ME TO TAKE PART IN THIS BLOG TOUR FOR THROUGH THE BARRICADES BY DENISE DEEGAN
WINNER OF THE SCBWI SPARK AWARD 2016
She was willing to sacrifice everything for her country.
He was willing to sacrifice everything for her.
‘Make a difference in the world,’ are the last words Maggie Gilligan’s father ever says to her. They form a legacy that she carries in her heart, years later when, at the age of fifteen, she tries to better the lives of Dublin’s largely forgotten poor.
‘Don’t go getting distracted, now,’ is what Daniel Healy’s father says to him after seeing him talking to the same Maggie Gilligan. Daniel is more than distracted. He is intrigued. Never has he met anyone as dismissive, argumentative… as downright infuriating.
A dare from Maggie is all it takes. Daniel volunteers at a food kitchen. There, his eyes are opened to the plight of the poor. It is 1913 and Dublin’s striking workers have been locked out of their jobs. Their families are going hungry. Daniel and Maggie do what they can. Soon, however, Maggie realises that the only way to make a difference is to take up arms.
The story of Maggie and Daniel is one of friendship, love, war and revolution, of two people who are prepared to sacrifice their lives: Maggie for her country, Daniel for Maggie. Their mutual sacrifices put them on opposite sides of a revolution. Can their love survive?
MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
It doesn’t really matter how old you are, what you believe in or how much money you have if you are lucky enough to find your soul mate, the one person you would sacrifice everything for, then you just don’t let them go. You do anything for them, even if it is against everything you have always believed in. Well that is how Daniel felt about Maggie.
This is Romantic Historical Fiction at its very best. There is a brief prologue dated 1906 where a very brave Maggie, at only 8 years old, is asked to make a promise by her father and it is something that she sets her life by. The bulk of this story takes place between 1913 and 1916 in Dublin and also in Gallipoli, during the First World War. You just have to love Maggie, well as a reader you do, if you were a young lady of the time, she would have been seen as more of an odd ball, a girl really to be avoided because she is so strong willed and not afraid to get her sleeves rolled up in amongst the lads. She doesn’t want to be a boy she just wants the equal rights to stand up for her beliefs. This is the Maggie that Daniel falls in love with. Daniel is the most loveable lad, the perfect boyfriend to Maggie and loyal to his life long buddy Michael both at home and in the slaughter house conditions of Gallipoli.
Denise Deegan covers so many historical events in this novel, the 1913 Lockout in Dublin, the First World War and the Easter Rising in Dublin in 1916, all written about accurately and also woven with a story that is both intriguing and heart breaking. She doesn’t hold any punches and describes the horrific conditions of both how a country could legally starve its people to enforce rule and yet defend others in the name of justice in a World War. At times it makes you feel very frustrated. So many heart breaking events but can true love come through?
HERE IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Denise Deegan lives in Dublin with her family where she regularly dreams of sunshine, a life without cooking and her novels being made into movies.
She has been a nurse, a china restorer, a pharmaceutical sales rep, a public relations officer, an entrepreneur and a college lecturer. Her most difficult job was checkout girl, though ultimately this ‘experience’ did inspire a short story…
Denise’s books have been published by Penguin, Random House, Hachette and Lake Union Publishing. Her novels for Young Adults include The Butterfly Novels: And By The Way, And For Your Information and And Actually.
Denise writes women’s fiction as Aimee Alexander. Her titles have become international best-sellers on Kindle and include: Pause to Rewind, The Accidental Life of Greg Millar and All We Have Lost.
Denise is represented by the East West Literary Agency and Barry Krost Management. She is a member of the SCBWI.
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