Kathleen Donohoe

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Born
Brooklyn, New York, The United States
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Influences
Alice McDermott, Colum McCann, AnnPatchett, Kate Atkinson, Betty Smith

Member Since
August 2010

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Kathleen Donohoe grew up in Brooklyn, New York, where she still lives with her husband and son.

Ashes of Fiery Weather, her debut novel, take its title from a line in a Wallace Stevens poem called "Our Stars Come from Ireland." She is a contributing writer for IrishCentral.com.

Her father, four uncles and a cousin are New York City firefighters.

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Popular Answered Questions

Kathleen Donohoe Hi Rachel,

Yes, I have actually thought about it quite a bit. On one hand, it might be difficult to condense, given how much time the book spans but I…more
Hi Rachel,

Yes, I have actually thought about it quite a bit. On one hand, it might be difficult to condense, given how much time the book spans but I think there would be some very creative ways to stage the jumps in era. Also, an interesting thought is to have the same actress play different characters, which is very do-able since most of them are related to each other. I might just give it a shot.

Thank you, Rachel! (less)
Kathleen Donohoe Hi Julie,

Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the book. There is a 15-question Reading Group Guide in the back of the paperback. But here are 5 of the…more
Hi Julie,

Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed the book. There is a 15-question Reading Group Guide in the back of the paperback. But here are 5 of the questions, so you have them readily available:

1. Mother/daughter relationships feature prominently throughout the book as are pregnancies and adoption. Annie-Rose leaves her grown daughter, Delia, to enter a convent. Delia goes on to adopt Eileen because she can’t have more children. Maggie gives up her daughter for adoption. What are some of the similarities in each relationship? What are some of the differences? What is the author trying to say about these complex relationships?

2. Ashes of Fiery Weather focuses on seven generations of the Keegan-O’Reilly women. Why do you suppose the author chose to tell the story from the female perspective? Discuss how Donohoe portrays the men in the novel. What do we learn about what it’s like to be related to a firefighter? How do the women’s experiences parallel your own, or not?

3. Think back to when 9/11 first occurred and share your whereabouts and what you were doing on that fateful day. How does it affect you now, 15 years later, to read about 9/11? What are the parallels between the other devastating fires throughout the novel and the loss of 343 firefighters during 9/11? How does the novel challenge the reader’s perception of 9/11? Do you feel the author succeeds in presenting a new outlook on 9/11?

4. What do ghosts represent to the characters? Are the readers meant to take the presence of spirits literally? Provide examples of how various characters are connected to the dead.

5. Discuss the book’s ending, and the structure of the novel as a whole. How is it different or similar to other novels you have read? What do you think the author was trying to say about family and the female experience by structuring the novel this way?(less)
Average rating: 3.61 · 422 ratings · 100 reviews · 1 distinct workSimilar authors
Ashes of Fiery Weather

3.61 avg rating — 422 ratings — published 2016 — 4 editions
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Fear by Bob Woodward
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The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
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I used to believe magic was for the dark.

Then I read Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman, the story of Sally and Gillian, the Owens sisters, witches both. The book weaved magic into every hour. Practical Magic amazed me. Even now, years later, after re
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The Story of the Titanic As Told by Its Survivors by Jack Winocour
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A White Heron and Other Stories by Sarah Orne Jewett
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The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman
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Annabel Lee by Edgar Allan Poe
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The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe
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The Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe
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Then Again, Maybe I Won't by Judy Blume
Then Again, Maybe I Won't
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Clock Dance by Anne Tyler
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Topics Mentioning This Author

topics posts views last activity  
NetGalley Readers: Author Alphabet Challenge 6 40 Sep 25, 2018 09:09AM  
Wallace Stevens
“These are the ashes of fiery weather,
Of nights full of the green stars from Ireland,
Wet out of the sea, and luminously wet,
Like beautiful and abandonded refugees.”
Wallace Stevens, The Collected Poems

Lawrence Ferlinghetti
“I once started out to walk around the world but ended up in Brooklyn.”
Lawrence Ferlinghetti, A Coney Island of the Mind

Thomas Wolfe
“All things on earth point home in old October; sailors to sea, travellers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken.”
Thomas Wolfe, Of Time and the River: A Legend of Man's Hunger in His Youth

Dylan Thomas
“And I rose
In a rainy autumn
And walked abroad in shower of all my days
High tide and the heron dived when I took the road
Over the border
And the gates
Of the town closed as the town awoke.”
Dylan Thomas

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