Friday 4 February 2022

My Heart Went Walking by Sally Hanan BLOG TOUR @inksnatcher @sallyhanan @HannahHargrave8 #MyHeartWentWalking #BookReview #Donegal


The only man she's ever loved is seeing her sister.

 And now they have to save her together.

Sally Hanan's sublime debut mixes the prose of Sue Monk Kidd with the dialogue of Maeve Binchy. With captivating warmth, she pulls us in to how it felt to live and love in Ireland's changing culture of the '80s, and how it often made a woman's decisions for her.

"I can't bear to keep walking. But you can't keep a secret in this town unless you leave with it."

Kept apart by their love for one man, two sisters embark on their own paths towards survival, love, and understanding, until all three finally meet again in the worst of circumstances. And the reality might break them all.

My Heart Went Walking is a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that sweeps from the small Irish town of Donegal to the "big smoke" of Dublin City; a book that celebrates the pull of family and the chance of redemption. It is a novel for everyone who feels connected to the Irish approach to life-that of grit and laughter-and also for everyone who loves an overriding message of hope and restoration in all things.

My Heart Went Walking by Sally Hanan is published in paperback on 5 February 2022 by Fire Drinkers Publishing. My thanks to Hannah Hargrave PR and the author who sent my copy for review, as part of this Blog Tour.

I was initially drawn to this book by the Donegal setting. My Mum is from a small town in County Donegal, Ireland and I spent every summer there when I was younger. Donegal will always be my spiritual home and I was eager to see how Sally Hanan portrayed the place and the people. 

What appears at first to be quite a simple tale about three young people soon turns into something much more complex, with the lead characters all having their own unique voices.

Sixteen-year-old Una flees the rural town of Donegal for the dark, more dangerous streets of Dublin. Una has found herself in a situation that she cannot deal with at home. Despite the 1980s setting, Ireland and the majority of the people still have old-fashioned and out dated views, more in keeping with the UK in the 60s really.  Una is a determined girl and despite having no plans for her future in Dublin she is quite resourceful.

Cullen is the love of Una's life. A steady, good natured boy who is distraught when she disappears. Cullen cannot believe what Una tells him about her condition, he's confused and dismayed and in love. 

Ellie is Una's sister. Left behind in Donegal, she, like Cullen is devastated by Una leaving town. At first Ellie's character is just that of Una's sister, but she soon develops and her character becomes a huge part of the story. 

This is not all doom and gloom though. Una is lucky in Dublin and comes across the kindness of strangers which is heart warming and a delight to read about. She has difficult decisions to make and the story didn't go where I expected it to by any means. 

Sally Hanan writes very well. I do think that this is a novel that could be enjoyed by both Young Adult readers as well as the Adult market. It's a slice of recent history and it's a wonderful depiction of Irish life, including the humour that so often helps this community to get through the tougher times. 

An author to watch for sure, and I'd be happy to read more from her, especially if she continues with the Irish settings.

Sally Hanan is an award-wining author who writes in multiple genres. She has a nursing degree from Dublin, Ireland, but these days she edits other people's books and is an occasional lay counselor and life coach.

Readers have described Sally’s writing as “inspiring,” “captivating,” “funny,” and “profound.” She is a 2021 Readers' Favorite gold medal winner for her nonfiction and has won numerous awards for her fiction and poetry in smaller writing competitions.

An Irish native, she lives near Austin, Texas, thanks to a fortuitous green card lottery—in a gorgeous 1930s home with her “hunk of burning love” husband and their spoiled-rotten doggie.

Twitter @inksnatcher

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