My new novella, Her Rebel Self, is inspired by the 100 year old precious diaries of my friend’s close family relative who lived through Ireland’s deeply turbulent revolutionary history last century.
The book is made up of a series of fictionally reimagined diary entries. On 1st November 1920, the day of Kevin Barry’ hanging in Mountjoy Prison, the main character, Dervla Kelly, finds herself revisiting the last four years of her secret diary.
In 1917, Dervla 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.
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 struggle for freedom. She becomes a target of the notorious Black and Tans. For months she questions whether Edmund will ever have the courage to follow her and join the growing resistance movement.