Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Fallen by Lia Mills

Lia Mills has produced in Fallen an outstanding historical novel which gives a wonderful insight into the lives of ordinary Dublin people during the Easter Rising. Fallen is the story of Katie Crilly an educated and restless young woman who is grieving for her twin brother Liam who has been killed at the Western Front. Katie finds an intellectual outlet as a researcher for an elderly "bluestocking" Miss Colclough (Dote) who is compiling a history of Dublin's monuments. Miss Cloclough lives with another lady Miss Wilson and Katie takes refuge in their home when she is unable to cross the city during the turbulent days of The Rising. Here she meets Miss Wilson's nephew Hubie who has returned from war after losing his hand. Both of these young people have been damaged by war and they are trying to make sense of the chaos in the city and the feelings which are running high as the British army begin shelling and the poorer people begin looting. Katie and Hubie watch the certainties of the old ways crumble and a new life seems possible. I adored this book. The characters are so real I was loathe to leave them and the sense of place so vivid I could almost smell the smoke and hear the shelling. This story offers a fresh perspective on a familiar story. The 1916 Rising is a tale we think we all know already but Lia Mills has proved that as we approach the one hundred year anniversary there is so much more to learn. Just like with Nuala Ní Chonchúir I cannot believe I am only discovering this author now, but I hope to discover the rest of Lia's works as soon as I can. Thanks to Cliona Lewis at Penguin Ireland for a review copy of this book.

1 comment:

  1. I'm reading this at the moment and also loving it. The feel of Dublin is so real and makes me proud to be a Dubliner! Beautifully written ....