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Member Author Profile

Alrene Hughes

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Location: Manchester

Member Bio:

Alrene was born in Enniskillen, grew up in Belfast and now lives in Manchester where she is co-ordinator of the Manchester Irish Writers. She was a high school teacher for twenty years and is now writing full time.

Her debut novel ‘Martha’s Girls’, a family saga set in Belfast in WWII, was initially self-published, but in October 2013 she was delighted to join Belfast based Blackstaff Press. 'Martha’s Girls' was re-launched and the sequel 'The Golden Sisters' was published in March 2015. Alrene is currently working on the final book in the wartime trilogy.

Books by Alrene Hughes

Author book

Martha's Girls

Belfast 1939: Martha Goulding’s world is shattered by a sudden death and the outbreak of war that leaves her family facing an uncertain future. Her daughters are talented singers who join a troupe of entertainers, determined to raise morale and money for the war effort, but Martha is torn between allowing them to perform and keeping them safe from their own headstrong personalities.

Irene is drawn to Sean who works with her at the linen mill, but his links to the IRA lead her into danger. Peggy is charmed and deceived by the enigmatic Harry. Pat doesn’t realise she’s fallen in love at all until it’s too late . . .

The rise in the girls’ success is set against a backdrop of Belfast life – from elegant Royal Avenue, into the mills, aircraft factory, concert and dance halls, to the very heart of the Stormont government. The city is unprepared and vulnerable, its people unaware of the horror about to befall them, and Martha’s family will need all their strength and courage to survive.
‘A nostalgic and heartwarming story of family bonds.’ Belfast Newsletter

Author book

The Golden Sisters

It's 1941 and German bombs are falling on Belfast. Martha's Girls face danger, hardship and difficult decisions.

Irene, the eldest of the sisters is struggling with the constraints of married life.

Pat is working in Stormont alongside William Kennedy. As their relationship deepens she feels real happiness could be within her grasp.

Peggy is thrilled when the charismatic Devlin offers her a job with a dance band, but she soon sees his darker side.

Together they are the Golden Sisters singing their way to victory in concert halls and army camps. But war is taking their lives in unexpected directions and Martha will need all her strength to help her girls find their way through these turbulent times.

"A great story that brings the reader all the atmosphere of the early 40s in Belfast... roll on the third book." -- Anne Hailes Belfast Times

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