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The Members' Blog

Her Rebel Self … available soon!

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Article by Paula Tully © 12 November 2018 .
Posted in the Members' Blog ( ).




My second project has had a title change. I had been using the working title, This Dread Love. But, for no particular reason I can think of, a new title occurred to me a while back: Her Rebel Self. I think it definitely works, especially with the new cover. I’m in the middle of my last round of edits and proofing so, all going well, the final version of Her Rebel Self should be available on Amazon very soon. Here’s what the book is about:

Dublin 1917. Dervla is twenty four and yearns for a life of adventure, away from the post Easter Rising rubble of her beloved city. When she says goodbye to her republican family and moves to London, she embarks on a liberating journey of self-discovery. She falls in love with Edmund, an Englishman, whose father keeps him out of the European trenches. But Dervla carries with her painful memories of the loss of her first love who was shot dead in the Rising. She is also tormented by her promise to her best friend to some day return to the homeland to take her place in the ongoing struggle for independence.

When Dervla discovers the powerful voices of three revolutionary women, she knows her small acts of rebellion within the London-Irish movement are no longer enough. Dervla’s cocooned life in London is soon overshadowed by the increasing violence of the English military’s occupation in Ireland during a simmering new war. Dervla becomes secretive about her new rebel activities.

By 1920, Dervla finds herself back in Dublin, without Edmund, where she risks her life as a Cumann na mBan member in her country’s desperate fight for freedom. She becomes a target of the notorious Black and Tans. For months she questions whether Edmund will ever have the courage to defy his father by following her to Ireland to join the resistance movement. But a different type of betrayal awaits.

The book’s narrative form is constructed through a series of diary entries from 1917 to 1920, some entries are short and some are longer. On 1st November 1920, the day of Kevin Barry’s execution in Mountjoy Prison, Dervla finds herself revisiting her secret diary. The book is inspired by the real life diary entries of May Guilfoyle, an ordinary young woman from Dublin who lived through extraordinary times.


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