Published: January 2018 by HarperCollins
Category: Dual Timeline, Fairies, Myths, Book Review
1917… It was inexplicable, impossible, but it had to be true–didn’t it? When two young cousins, Frances Griffiths and Elsie Wright from Cottingley, England, claim to have photographed fairies at the bottom of the garden, their parents are astonished.
One hundred years later… When Olivia Kavanagh finds an old manuscript in her late grandfather’s bookshop she becomes fascinated by the story it tells of two young girls who mystified the world.
Being familiar with, and fascinated by, the story of the Cottingley fairies, I was looking forward to Hazel Gaynor’s re-imagining of this incredible tale based on true events. I wasn’t disappointed.
- Author: Roy McCarthy
- Published: February 2015 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
- Category: Contemporary, Historical, Mythical.
A young American couple fall in love with an old house in the Irish countryside. They buy it, but get more than they bargained for. The youngest child of the Fitzgerald family suddenly disappears in 1946, but does his ghost still wander the rooms? And can it be that the fairies, the good folk of Irish myth, live on in this lonely corner of the Emerald Isle? Miranda Hunter is determined to release the young Jonno’s spirit and save her marriage, if she can.
The story revolves around an old house in County Cork and begins during the Irish War of Independence in 1920 with a visit from the West Cork Brigade of the IRA to the then owner of Dunmurry House. Fast forward to present day and recently married Americans, Miranda and Joe Hunter, are holidaying in Ireland. Miranda falls in love with the old house, even in it’s obvious state of disrepair, and can’t get it out of her mind. Persuading Joe to try a more laid back lifestyle in rural Ireland they put in an offer for the house.
Back home in Massachusetts Miranda had begun to forget about the house until a call came from the estate agent. The house was theirs if they wanted it. The call rekindled Miranda’s interest, repairs and renovations were carried out and Joe and Miranda moved into Dunmurry House.
The story traces the many incarnations of the house and the unexplained disappearances, happenings and deaths over the years. The Fitzgeralds, who lived there in the 1940s and sold up when their youngest son, Jonno, went missing. From the Murphy sisters who bought the house a couple of years later to the present day. The house had also been a home for ‘wayward girls’ which presented quite a chilling and archaic description of life, especially since it was as recent as the 1970s.
Girls and young women were sent there by the county council and indeed sometimes by their own families. They had fallen pregnant outside marriage or had otherwise been judged immoral and unfit to live alongside decent people.
The Hunter’s nearest neighbour, Padraig, is not at all what he seems. Nor was the house as Miranda realises there is something there besides herself and Joe. And as the compulsion to find out more grips Miranda, her fixation drives her and Joe further and further apart as, at the same time, it brings the remaining members of another family together.
With leprechauns, fairies, a fairy fort; Tir-na-Nog and the battle between the Firbolgs and the Tuatha De Dannan, Ireland’s history, myths and legends are incorporated into a very enjoyable story. Great cover too, very atmospheric.