Friday 6 April 2018

Her Mother's Daughter by Alice Fitzgerald @AliceFitzWrites Blog Tour @AllenAndUnwinUK #HerMothersDaughter

1980: Josephine flees her home in Ireland, hoping never to return. She starts a new, exciting life in London, but as much as she tries, she can't quite leave the trauma of her childhood behind. 
Seventeen years and two children later, Josephine gets a call from her sister to tell her that their mother is dying and wants to see her - a summons she can't refuse. 
1997: Ten-year-old Clare is counting down to the summer holidays, when she is going to meet her grandparents in Ireland for the first time. She hopes this trip will put an end to her mum's dark moods - and drinking. But family secrets can't stay buried forever and following revelations in Ireland, everything starts to unravel. Have Josephine and her daughter passed the point of no return?

Her Mother's Daughter by Alice Fitzgerald was published on 5 April 2018 by Allen and Unwin. As part of the Blog Tour, I am delighted to welcome the author here to Random Things today. She's talking about the books that are special to her, in My Life In Books.

My Life In Books - Alice Fitzgerald

It was so hard to come up with a list of books for this post, and I’m sure I’ll kick myself and remember loads more in the weeks to come, but these were the ones that left their mark on me, for one reason or another, and that’s why they’re here.

I was so young when I discovered The Famous Five by Enid Blyton that I can’t remember now which books or storylines were my favourite; just how excited I was when I read them. That absolute delight of a story that takes you to another world and has you devouring the pages and turning them impatiently, reading in the bath, the car – and in bed, way past your bedtime.

Similarly, with The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, all I can remember is this image of the secret garden that I made in my mind. To this day, whenever I come across an overgrown garden, I remember the one from this book.

For some reason my English teacher lent me her copy of Girl with Green Eyes by Edna O’Brien when I was about fourteen. She must have known I’d like this author, and she was right. I loved the voices, the place, the shenanigans of Kate and Baba, and have read much more of Edna since.
Collected Poems by Seamus Heaney, my all-time favourite poet, who I was lucky enough to study. Even though I’m a city girl from London, his poems take me back to my summers in Ireland – and to the Ireland my parents grew up in that I’ve heard about all my life.

The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood. It’s so tempting to say The Handmaid’s Tale but to go for something different, I’m going to pick this one, for its crescendo scene where the protagonist eats a cake. It’s still one I remember often for the power it had over me.

The Butcher Boy by Patrick McCabe. So dark, so brilliant. I loved the vivid storytelling, bleak setting and Irish tongue.

I recently re-read The Color Purple by Alice Walker – and what a masterpiece. It’s one of those books that makes you cry for a good ten minutes when you’ve finished, just to release the state of tension you’ve been in throughout reading.

The downhill journey of Esther’s mental health is so brilliantly captured in The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. I also love the title.

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín so astutely explores the turmoil of emigration, something I think about often as the London-born daughter of Irish parents, who lives in Madrid. What I also admire about Tóibín is his ability to make you want something so much for Eilis, and then want something different.

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. I’m still terrified of Room 101.

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a beautiful novel that takes us through the horrendous brutality of war through four different characters’ eyes.

Alice Fitzgerald has worked as a journalist for six years. 
She has been published in literary journals, online at Refinery29 and Hello Giggles and in magazines including Hello!. 
Her Mother's Daughter is her debut novel. 
Born in London to Irish parents, she now lives in Madrid. 

You can find her on Twitter @AliceFitzWrites.

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