Marina Julia Neary was one of the authors I tagged for the “Meet My Main Character” blog tour I participated in last week. If you haven’t already, you can read my post here.
As Marina doesn’t have her own blog at this time, I’m happy to host her post on mine.
In breaking a little from the rules for this blog tour, Marina will be ‘talking’ about the main character of her recently released novel, Never Be At Peace, published by Fireship Press. It is a companion piece to Martyrs and Traitors published by All Things That Matter Press in 2011. You can read my review here. I’m certainly looking forward to reading her new one!
Here’s a synopsis:
A pugnacious orphan from a bleak Dublin suburb, Helena Molony dreams of liberating Ireland. Her fantasies take shape when the indomitable Maud Gonne informally adopts her and sets her on a path to theatrical stardom – and political martyrdom. Swept up in the Gaelic Revival, Helena succumbs to the romantic advances of Bulmer Hobson, an egotistical Fenian leader with a talent for turning friends into enemies. After their affair ends in a bitter ideological rift, she turns to Sean Connolly, a married fellow-actor from the Abbey Theatre, a man idolised in the nationalist circles. As Ireland prepares to strike against the British rule on Easter Monday, Helena and her comrades find themselves caught in a whirlwind of deceit, violence, broken alliances and questionable sacrifices. In the words of Patrick Pearse, “Ireland unfree shall never be at peace”. For the survivors of the Rising, the battle will continue for decades after the last shot had been fired.
Some early reviews:
“M. J. Neary’s Never Be at Peace is a gripping and intense tale of Ireland in the thick of revolution. Told from the perspectives of the brave and uncompromising men and women involved in the fight for independence, it will delight fans of women’s history and Irish history. Meticulously researched and boldly-written, Never Be at Peace is a masterful story that breathes life Edwardian Ireland and illuminates the hearts and minds of these unforgettable Irish patriots.” –Evangeline Holland, Edwardian Promenade
“Neary’s Helena Molony is a storm of a character who comes to life along with a cast of the giants of early 20th century Ireland. Helena’s story will stick with you long after you turn the last page.” –Meghan Walsh, The Recorder, The Journal of the American Irish Historical Society
And Marina’s answers to the questions about the novel’s main character.
What is the name of your character? Is he/she fictional or a historic person?
Helena Molony, 1884-1967. She is very much a real historical person.
When and where is the story set?
Ireland, early 20th century. The novel spans World War I, the Easter Rising of 1916, the War of Irish Independence, the subsequent Irish Civil War, and finally, World War II. It’s heavy on military history, light on bodice-ripping.
What should we know about him/her?
She is a spunky dreamer from a bleak Dublin suburb.
What is the main conflict? What messes up his/her life?
There are several conflicts. One is them is obvious, Anglo-Irish. But I also wanted to focus on the conflict within the ranks of Irish revolutionaries.
What is the personal goal of the character?
Helena’s goal is to rebuild the romantic, heroic, liberated Ireland of her dreams. The quest for independence goes horribly wrong, and the result is not quite what the heroine had envisioned. Heartbroken and disillusioned, she spirals into alcoholism and self-destruction.
What is the title of this novel, and can we read more about it?
The title is Never Be at Peace, and it’s inspired by Patrick Pearse’s graveside speech in 1915, “Ireland unfree shall never be at peace.”
When can we expect the book to be published?
The novel was recently released through Fireship Press.
Here’s a wonderful interview with Marina about Never Be At Peace, which she did for the Historical Fiction Research Blogspot. You can find her on Facebook here.
Thank you, Marina, for participating in this blog tour.
And may I remind you:
I am offering a Giveway of my Kindle Short Stories
or an autographed copy of my novel, A House Near Luccoli.
You can read the details in my previous post of May 10th!
I’m living in hope of getting some takers! 🙂
This sounds like a very interesting book Diane. I know all too little about The Easter Rising and Ireland in those times. It would be good for me to read especially in the light of our Irish connection.
Love and hugs ❤ xx
I highly recommend Marina’s books – she is a unique and very talented writer, and her take on Ireland is quite different from most. I read the first chapter of her new one before it was published and wanted more! I think you would enjoy her writing. Hope Phoebe is improving every day and that you are feeling better, too! XO ♥
Thanks Diane, I think I will get the book.
Phoebe is doing much better thanks, its so lovely to see her eating again and actually keeping it down. Im feeling better thanks although the Phoebe worry plus our unpleasant experience on Saturday with no disabled access inside the hotel at the vegan festival has worn me to a frazzle! I have written o the hotel and organisers; it was appalling. ❤ Xx