When I was a naïve twenty-year-old I gave up my nice secure office job to become a full-time writer. And like many wannabe writers, I took a job in a bar for a glimpse at life and to pay the rent. Many years later I was inspired to write Dolly Considine’s Hotel; recently published by Unbound.com and now in the shops.
In 2012 the Irish Writers Centre’s held a weeklong Summer School with Carlo Gébler which I attended and found so useful I rewrote most of Dolly Considine’s Hotel. Asked recently to comment on the completed manuscript he said:
‘This is a strange, original and unusual novel, which takes two unlikely worlds and yokes them together to make a single whole. One is the Dublin of the 1950s which was immortalized by Anthony Cronin and Brendan Behan and JP Donleavy and the other is the Dublin of the 1980s, the dismal Dublin, of which you catch a glimpse in Roddy Doyle and Desmond Hogan and Neil Jordan. It’s a remarkable conceit to combine the two epochs (Dublin in her Boho heyday in the 1950s and Dublin in her cups in the catastrophic 1980s) but it works, very nicely.
Dublin today is no longer what it was in the 1950s or the 1980s but if you wish to know what it was like in either time (spoiler alert – it wasn’t lovely in either epoch) you could do a lot worse than read Dolly Considine’s Hotel. I’ve never read anything quite like it.”
DCH is set mostly in Dublin in the summer of 1983 in the run up to the pro-life constitutional amendment (8th). It is a humorous pre-Celtic Tiger slice of Irish life woven from two intertwined stories; the reliably narrated Dolly Considine’s Hotel, and Julian’s account of his Summer of Unrequited Love – featuring the stories he makes up about the hotel’s owner, visitors and staff, alive and dead.
Given how long it has taken me to get DCH published, it is hardly surprising that my debut novel is about waiting, but is also about sexuality and pregnancy, the Irish Civil War, nationalism, and pragmatic politics, is about artistic purity and artistic licence, reliable and unreliable narrators, alcohol and jobbing civil servants, and above all is about Ireland and whether Julian will ever see Malone again.
Available in branches of Dubray Books, Books Upstairs, Gutter Books, Company of Books Ranelagh, and Hodges Figgs, and to order in your local library.
The Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Dolly-Considine-s-Hotel/9781789651294
and Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Dolly-Considines-Hotel-Eamon-Somers/dp/1789651298/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1634135637&sr=1-1-fkmr0
There is a special place reserved in heaven for readers who post reviews on Amazon or Goodreads. To read prolific Cork book blogger Mairead Hearne’s review: