Fiona Clarke, an Irish writer living in New York, has been running away from her past since she left rural Cregora, Ireland, for boarding school. That past finds her, many years later, when her thinly veiled autobiographical novel is optioned for a movie. Working as the film’s consultant, Fiona unearths deep secrets, relives childhood trauma, and connects with an estranged family thrust back into her life. As her history opens upon her, Fiona must stop running and confront her secret shame: her long-held sense of responsibility over the death of her little sister.
Gemma Whelan is an Irish-born theatre director and educator. After moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, she directed more than sixty stage productions and was founding artistic director of GemArt and Wilde Irish Productions. Gemma is also an award-winning screenwriter and film director. She graduated from Trinity College, Dublin in English and French, and has graduate degrees from University of California, Berkeley in Theatre and San Francisco State University in Cinema. Gemma lives in Portland, Oregon.
“Gemma Whelan is a natural born storyteller with a brilliant eye for character and description. Her writing oozes with class.”
Peter Sheridan, author of 44,Dublin Made Me, 47 Roses, and Big Fat Love
“This fascinating novel richly rewards the reader with lustrous language and a spellbinding story.”
Howard G. Franklin, author of An Irish Experience
“Beautifully written, populated with memorable characters, possessed of a page-turning plot, the novel unspools in the imagination like a rich and wonderful film—and resonates afterward in the heart.”
Darryl Brock, author of If I Never Get Back, Havana Heat, and Two in the Field.
“This is a richly textured novel, written with passion and style; an absolute delight to read.”
James N. Frey, author of How to Write a Damn Good Novel, The Long Way to Die, and Winter of the Wolves.
“Truly a rich work of language... well worth reading for its sincerity, and for its penetrating explorations of the mind, of the heart, and of the soul.”
David Vela, Past President of the Irish Literary and Historical Society, Professor of English Language and Literature at Diablo Valley College, Pleasant Hill California.
“Gemma Whelan’s novel about the persistence of the past upon the present is brilliant and insightful. Fiona's courage has resonance for us all.”
Kathleen Conneely, retired Professor of Literature and Drama at St. Mary’s College, Oakland California.
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