Dancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves’ as a lover of short stories the title pulled me in straight away. This is Writer Diane Ascroft’s’ second book afterDancing Shadows, Tramping Hooves’ as a lover of short stories the title pulled me in straight away. This is Writer Diane Ascroft’s’ second book after ‘Hitler and Mars Bars’
This collection of 6 short stories criss cross memory and time when looking back to the past a modern woman in rural Ireland can have her finger on the pulse even in a rural community. Diane’s characters are steeped in honesty and have that warm believability about them with the language and weather of Ireland down to a tee. My favorite story is,
‘Much more than a Dance’ a modern love story that gives the older woman great delight at being in love again and getting annoyed at being so giddy with it. The character Catherine Flannery, locks eyes on the highly sought after widower Kevin Sullivan with his smart suits and perhaps attitude set at first at a local dance. Catherine like many women, modern or not internalize everything when it comes to a love interest and they don’t always get it right.
I have a very contented feeling after reading these short stories by Diane Ascroft and I look forward to more from this County Fermanagh writer.
At 328 pages this Novel by Peter Murphy is an exciting read. The main characters that include Aidan, Sinead, JanLagan Love
‘Lagan Love’ by Peter Murphy
At 328 pages this Novel by Peter Murphy is an exciting read. The main characters that include Aidan, Sinead, Janice and Gerry, regularly ignite the smoky air in Grogan’s pub situated in the heart of Dublin city, a pub that the locals love, popular among the citys’ avant garde. Set in the 80’s, Grogan’s has many characters that gather to swap mythologies and stories about lenashee or silkie at the harbour or to slag each other in a ‘terms of endearment way’ that could stun the wide eyed newcomers like Canadian artist Janice, who came to Dublin to study history at Trinity, much to the disapproval of her mother.
Aidan is a northsider Dublin poet who knew about some of the hardships in life but was also very knowledgeable about the literature trail around the city and beyond especially the mythology of the island. He wandered the streets without fear as only a local would. Meeting Canadian Janice was a surprise, born on different sides of life; she a princess to his pauper he reveled in the politics of that divide. She had recognized him from a piece in The Times; he was the next big thing according to his editor Gwen who was also his mysterious muse. He made Janice feel nervous at first but as time went on she felt safe with him strolling along the gritty Dublin streets, every street and building had a history, his old ways warmed her. She thought Aidan was a bit like Chilean poet Pablo Neruda.
Romance had blossomed along with betrayal and intrigue and that was between friends. Many bridges are crossed; fabled and other wise. It’s the kind of novel that leaves one with questions like how far we would go to succeed with our dreams, how far our dreams would drag us before surrendering to them, or casting them aside for a more simple life, but could an artist do that wholeheartedly?
Ireland from the 80 has changed rapidly which the author portrays before and after with great accuracy and wit, this novel is at times dark but over all a good solid read and once I began reading could not put it down. Like the poet Aidan said,
“In Dublin every night is a celebration for having survived another day” love it ~