Monday, 31 July 2017

Through The Barricades by Denise Deegan @denisedeegan #Review

She was willing to sacrifice everything for her country.
He was willing to sacrifice everything for her. 
'Make a difference in the world,' are the last words Maggie Gilligan's father ever says to her. They form a legacy that she carries in her heart, years later when, at the age of fifteen, she tries to better the lives of Dublin's largely forgotten poor.  
'Don't go getting distracted, now,' is what Daniel Healy's father says to him after seeing him talking to the same Maggie Gilligan. Daniel is more than distracted. He is intrigued. Never has he met anyone as dismissive, argumentative... as downright infuriating. 
A dare from Maggie is all it takes. Daniel volunteers at a food kitchen. There, his eyes are opened to the plight of the poor. It is 1913 and Dublin's striking workers have been locked out of their jobs. Their families are going hungry. Daniel and Maggie do what they can. Soon, however, Maggie realises that the only way to make a difference is to take up arms. 
The story of Maggie and Daniel is one of friendship, love, war and revolution, of two people who are prepared to sacrifice their lives: Maggie for her country, Daniel for Maggie. Their mutual sacrifices put them on opposite sides of a revolution. Can their love survive? 

Through The Barricades by Denise Deegan was published in paperback and ebook on 2 December 2016 and is the winner of the SCBWI Spark Award 2017

Although I was raised in England, my mother is Irish Catholic and I spent every summer of my childhood in County Donegal, on the north west coast of Ireland. I have always been fascinated by the history of this small but beautiful island and am an avid reader of Irish fiction. Denise Deegan's Through The Barricades is a wonderfully written, evocative story that really does invoke a real feeling of Ireland and the Irish, concentrating on one of the most important times in history.

Between the years of 1913 and 1916 as the First World War raged on, Ireland was in the grip of a revolution of its own, and Maggie and Daniel also played out their own personal war alongside this. Denise Deegan has perfectly captured the romance of their story, along with the struggles and the horror of the battlefields.

Maggie and Daniel appear at first, to have opposing views. Maggie supports the strikers whilst Daniel is the son of a policeman, and their chance meeting one day shapes their future as both of them, in their own way tackle the social issues of their time.

I read Through The Barricades as I sat by the pool in Corfu and was totally immersed by the story, hardly putting the book down at all. Maggie and Daniel are an absolute delight; characters that the reader can identify with and cheer on throughout the story. This author can certainly transport her readers to an entirely different era, with ease and with flair.

An excellent story, packed with history and romance. A novel to savour.

My thanks to the author who sent my copy for review.

Denise Deegan lives in Dublin with her family where she regularly dreams of sunshine, a life without cooking and her novels being made into movies. 

Denise has been a nurse, a china restorer, a pharmaceutical sales rep, a public relations officer, an entrepreneur and a college lecturer. Her most difficult job was being a checkout girl, although ultimately this experience did inspire a short story…

Denise writes for both adults and teenagers. Her novels have been published by Penguin, Random House, Hachette and Lake Union Publishing. Writing under the pen name Aimee Alexander, Denise's contemporary family dramas have become international best-sellers on Kindle.

You can follow Denise on:

Twitter: @denisedeegan 

Websites: &

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