The Country of Our Dreams

The Country of Our Dreams : A Novel of Ireland & Australia

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Description

In 19th century Ireland - just one generation after the Great Famine had left a million dead and scattered the Irish across the globe - a new crop failure threatened the land and its people. This time round, a radical idea began to take hold: that famine was neither divine nor natural in origin but a political event, based on unequal power relations. From this, the globally based Irish Land League was born, led by the visionary Michael Davitt. Fanny and Anna Parnell's Ladies Land League would soon follow. Ireland, and the world, would never be the same again. In 21st century Sydney, preparations are under way for Loyola Ryan's 50th birthday. Protective older brother of Vianney, Xavier and their sister Siena, Loyola wants his family around him on the big day - even their difficult mother Kate. But Xavier has gone missing. Given his history of addiction, the family are worried. Vianney's partner Hilary fears yet another Ryan family drama. Only Vianney is unconcerned. He says Xavier is busy working on his novel about their glorious ancestor, Michael Davitt. But he won't tell them anything more...
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Product details

  • Paperback | 336 pages
  • 151.89 x 229.11 x 19.3mm | 498.95g
  • Australia
  • English
  • 1922355119
  • 9781922355119
  • 696,761

About Mary O'Connell

About the author: I am a Taranaki born, Sydney based writer, editor, historian and community arts organiser, with particular interest in matters of spirit. My other books include an historical novel about the twelfth century mystic and musician Hildegard of Bingen. The King's Daughter was reviewed by the Sydney Morning Herald as 'Here is surprise, delight and instruction in skillfully blended harmony. Mary O'Connell has brought off the feat of recreating an entire society triumphantly. The achievement is extraordinary. ... This is a delight, and, I'm prepared to bet, unlike anything you have read before.' My PhD explored the amazing story of the young Irish Australian mystic, Eileen O'Connor (1892-1921). Published as Our Lady of Coogee by Crossing Press in 2009, it was described by Professor Alison Bashford, Chair of Australian Studies at Harvard University as 'a substantive social and interior history - of romance, conflict, love, sacrifice and pain. This is a work of extraordinary literary as well as intellectual skill.' Eileen is now on track to become Australia's second saint! I'd love to do more work on exploring the wonder-full Brigid stories both medieval and modern - pondering why and how this particular divine feminine archetype is so powerful (and useful) within us Irish communities.
I am a happy member of the Randwick Community Organic Garden , a proud member of the Australian Women's History Network, the Irish Studies Association of Australia & New Zealand (ISAANZ), the Randwick & District Historical Society, and the Randwick and Coogee Ladies Swimming Club. Professionally I work in the field of environmental engineering communications, and as supporter and editor of other people's memoirs.
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