I have always admired Demi Moore for her achievements, and was aware that her early life had not been easy. However, in ‘Inside Out’, Demi’s honesty is at times shocking and heart breaking. Behind the glamour, the fame and the money, she relates a very human story of vulnerability, strength, struggle, addiction, magnificent ups and devastating downs, but I never got a sense that her writing was coming from a place of bitterness. It is of course, her story, and therefore, her side of the story, and she is candid in her descriptions of her experiences of family relationships, as well as her much publicised marriages. I can only imagine that some parts, particularly those concerning her parents, were not easy to share. Many women, and men, of high achievement start from a rock-bottom place. Demi is a survivor, and a great talent. Fair play to her. A worthy read.
Over the summer, I had the pleasure of visiting Farrell & Nephew Bookshop in Newbridge, County Kildare and to chat with Dermot, Maeve and the lovely staff there. Established on the Main street over 60 years ago, this eclectic store also specialises in local interest and history of the area. Now that the schoolbook buying frenzy has subsided, drop in and browse their shelves – and you might even find a copy of LADY BETH there!
Signed copies of LADY BETH are now in stock.
Farrell and Nephew Books are open from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 am to 6:00pm | Phone 045 431708 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Caroline E Farrell is a writer and filmmaker from Dublin, and author of the independently published novel, LADY BETH, winner of an Eric Hoffer Award 2019 (Mystery/Thriller Category) and Best Novel at The Carousel Aware Prize Awards 2017. Writer and Director of the short film FRAMED  currently screening at festivals worldwide, Caroline has also written several award-winning feature length and short screenplays including ADAM  and IN RIBBONS .
On the remote Beara Peninsula in West Cork, Ireland, Edie and Johnny invite a group of old schoolfriends to reunite for a birthday and also to showcase the former convent school they have renovated into a luxury resort. However, as a storm builds outside, and the power goes out, dark events that marred all of their childhoods threaten to resurface… and there is a killer amongst them.
I CONFESS is an intricate whodunnit, layered with flashbacks and disturbing reveals. Because of the ensemble of characters, and the jumping back and forth between past and present, it did take some concentration in the first part of the novel to get a sense of everyone involved, but ultimately, the plot is a good one. An atmospheric thriller.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers, Harper Collins, for the opportunity to read the ARC.
Thanks to Net Galley and HACHETTE BOOKS I was lucky enough to receive an ARC copy of THE HIDING GAME, the latest novel from Louise Phillips. The novel, published today, is a gripping courtroom drama and you can read my recommendation HERE.
What struck me while reading this latest thriller are the themes of grief and mother/child relationships that feature strongly in The HIDING GAME, so I asked Louise to expand on her inspiration for the story.
Louise: I was four years old when my infant sister died. A year later, my brother was still born. Both tragedies deeply affected our family. For years my mother kept the unworn baby clothes of my sister and brother in a large cardboard box on the top of a wardrobe, unable to let them go. In 1997, as a young mother, I watched the televised trial from Boston of Louise Woodward, a nineteen-year-old nanny accused of killing the infant in her care. The story never quite left me. Several years later my mother died, and I understood true heart break for the first time. Afterwards I began to reflect on my mother’s life, especially the loss of my infant sister to a cot death, and later, my brother. ‘The Hiding Game’ is not autobiographical, or based on my mother’s life, but within this fictional story I hope a certain commonality of human experience is explored, sometimes within the context of loss, trauma, secrets and lies, and on other occasions, injustice, and murder.
And journeying through the research while holding the emotional anchor of her fictional story?
Louise: In 2016, the motivation to write this novel took me on a self-funded research trip to Boston Massachusetts, where I met with detectives from the Major Crime Unit in Cambridge, forensic pathologists specialising in the area of paediatric neurology, and members of the judicial system. Later, I spent time in Cohasset, a small town on the South Shore. I wanted to place my characters in a fictional world which was both small and powerful in equal measure, where the minuteness of small-town life places everyone under a microscope, especially those considered to be outcasts, or less worthy. The emotional anchor for this story is a simple one. The death of an infant changes everything, and the death of a mother, the break in the mother-child bond, changes everything too.
THE HIDING GAME will be officially launched by Colm Hayes of Radio Nova, and takes place on Tuesday, 6:30pm, September 10th at the Gutter Book Shop, Cow’s Lane, Temple Bar, Dublin 8.
My Da turned 86 last week. His younger self would not appreciate his image being posted here. His younger self was a force to be reckoned with. Fiercely independent, intelligent, sometimes belligerent. We didn’t always get along. We didn’t always see eye to eye. That was his other self. The product of his own pain. That was my other self. The product of my own pain.
This is now. His basic needs are taken care of. He is safe. He is minded. But it’s not him. It’s difficult to visit. It’s difficult to see. But ‘seeing’ him is something I think about a lot these days.
Alzheimer’s has taken his essence, his opinions. His fiercely coveted freewill. His dignity. His independence. His arguments. His past. His now. His future. A fragile man, moving in the shadow of his former life. Shuffling in slippers, wearing clothes he can no longer choose for himself. Eating food he can no longer choose for himself. Taking medication doled out from prescriptions that he never sees. Pacing slower each time. Holding up the walls. Staring out from a life made small by a barbaric disease.
Memories, mind and spirit, locked behind an expression that does not recognise. That cannot read. That cannot concentrate. No reminiscence, no sharing, no conversation. All the things he cannot say. Just the fading slowly – a life in twilight, every sunset erasing another facet of who he once was. The tenement child. The Liberties boy. The eldest. The christian brothers student. The reader. The self-educator. The son. The husband. The father. The brother. The boxer. The drinker. The quick-tempered. The friend. The Grandfather. The Great-grandfather. The golfer. The printer. The father of the chapel. The man who worked for the newspaper. The Frank Sinatra fan. The man who worked part-time until he was in his 70’s. The daily suit and tie. The all his life clean-shaven and shoes polished. All of it, lost. No longer ‘known’. No longer ‘seen’.
But you’re still here, Da. And I see you.
Caroline is a writer and filmmaker from Dublin, Ireland, and author of the novel LADY BETH (Eric Hoffer Award Winner 2019 and Winner of the Carousel Aware Prize BEST NOVEL 2017). Writer and Director of the short film FRAMED (2018), she has also written and co-produced ADAM (2013) and the auto-biographical IN RIBBONS (2015) which has screened at festivals worldwide. Watch IN RIBBONS HERE
Heather Baxter is an attorney who by day, defends a young girl accused of killing an infant boy in her charge, and by night, is tormented as she tries to make sense of her mother’s unsolved murder, many years earlier. Through her journey of discovery, Heather uncovers several links between the two cases, often in terrible danger as she moves ever closer to a cruel and ruthless killer. A thoroughly enjoyable thriller combining exciting courtroom drama with unsettling secrets, mystery and intrigue!
The HIDING GAME is released on September 5th. Thanks to NetGalley and Hachette Books Ireland for the opportunity to read this ARC.
‘ALL THAT GLITTERS Anna Wintour, Tina Brown, and the Rivalry Inside America’s Richest Media Empire’, by Thomas Maier, is an appropriate title for quite a complex book that may prove to be a useful addition to the study of American media, politics and pop culture. The author delves into the Condé Nast empire run by S. I. Newhouse Jr. and creative guru and influencer Alex Liberman. Perhaps the most interesting element of the book is how it examines the contribution of Anna Wintour and Tina Brown, both British women who worked their way to the top of this male-dominated American industry, and how they challenged the rules set down by that male establishment. It is also a sobering study of the power of magazines such as Vogue and Vanity Fair before the onset of social media. I received this ARC copy from Net Galley with thanks also to Skyhorse Publishing. Publication Date September 2019