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After The Rising by [Ross, Orna]
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After The Rising Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 53 customer reviews

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Length: 296 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Isabel Allende once said, "Write what should not be forgotten". That's my guiding principle as a writer. 
 
My father's uncle was shot during the Irish civil war of 1922/3, though nobody was able to say by whom, or why. And I grew up, fifty years later, in the village where this had happened, surrounded by silence about this event. So when I came to write fiction, it was natural to turn to that time, and its consequences. It seemed to sum up so much of what I wanted to say about what gets spoken and what remains secret and unsaid.
 
  And also about the struggle every human being experiences between freedom and belonging. Because while the novel is set against the background of the scrappy, squalid conflict that was The Irish Civil War, it is not so much about that as about all sorts of private, intimate and personal wars -- around sexuality, and family, and love. 
 
  I very much wanted to include the female experience during that war -- called 'The War of The Brothers' though women were more involved in it than the earlier independence struggle -- and draw parallels between the outer, male-driven conflict and other more intimate struggles within family and other close relationships.
 
  So the book turned into a three-generational family fiction, using a contemporary (1990s) narrator tracing her family history back, and giving us extracts from letters and diaries and scenes she has written herself as she imagines her grandmother and great-aunts and -uncles as young women and men.
 
I set the shootout that killed Barney to happen in a similar place in Co. Wexford, on the same day as my uncle was shot, and in similar fashion -- a small memorial. A number of things that happened in the novel were taken from real life, like the inquest and investigation into the killing by the Free State court. But a great deal more was invented.
 
  Readers always want to know which bits "really" happened but it isn't that simple. It all gets very mixed up. All I can say is that I ended up with a story that was very different to what really happened. Imagination came in and filled the blanks, answered the questions I couldn't find "real" answers for, and made a pattern that was reflective of, but very different to, what actually happened.

From the Inside Flap

Historical fiction through a contemporary lens.

Product Details

  • File Size: 808 KB
  • Print Length: 296 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Font Publications (December 16, 2011)
  • Publication Date: December 16, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006N6BDI8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #474,645 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
`WARNING!' they shout. `DANGER! The Sands on this side of the Point are Unstable and Unsafe. Do not Diverge from the Path.'

Orna Ross has written a masterpiece and in this age of exaggeration and hyperbole I hope I can convey just how exceptional is her book After The Rising.

There is not a spare word nor a trite phrase anywhere in this book - the prose is absolutely gorgeous.

She clearly and lyrically tells the story of Cogadh Cathartha na hÉireann (The Irish Civil War) and its after effects through the research and recollections of Jo Devereux, who has come into possession of a chest containing her family's terrible secrets. The war between the Free Staters and the Republicans claimed thousands of Irish lives and Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael live on as reminders of that terrible conflict.

A wise nun leading a pre-Cana class told me years ago that the social pathology of a family muscles its way inexorably from generation to generation unless some one person consciously decides to stop it and repair the damage. In Orna's book, we follow that damage in the Parle, O'Donovan and Devereux families.

Orna writes a battle scene as well as anyone, and in this work tells the story of Cumann na mBan , the women who supported the losing side, the sinking side, and of Norah O'Donovan from a Free Stater family who loved Barney Parle a Republican partisan and of his sister Peg Parle in love with Dan O'Donovan and the tragic - never melodramatic - consequences. And in a more recent incarnation, we learn of Jo Devereux's love for Rory O'Donovan, made impossible by the opposing loyalties of their ancestors.
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Format: Kindle Edition
The book opens as Jo Devereux arrives in a little village in Ireland for her mother's funeral. She hasn't been back for 20 years and the internal conflict Jo faces mark the start of this saga than spans generations. This is a beautifully written story that will draw you in and make you desperate for the sequel.

Why read this book?

* You want to know Jo's story as the setting flicks from her years growing up in Mucknamore, her doomed love for Rory and her escape from the claustrophobic Irish village. Jo's need for independence resonated with me and her anguish in the present timeframe makes for compelling reading.

* There are mysteries in the book, open loops in the lives of the players that fascinate and make you read on.

* I'm not Irish and my knowledge of Ireland's civil war is practically non-existent. This is, in part, a historical novel about a time in Ireland that few speak of so it was fascinating to read more about it from the perspectives of the characters involved. I also appreciated the effective use of language which is accessible to non-Irish readers but still gives a lovely cadence to the read. The dialogue is expertly done.

Recommended if you enjoy contemporary fiction with a historical thread.
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There was a lot to like about this book. I agree with most of the other commenters in terms of the author's skillfullness in transitioning from one time period to another. But I would highly encourage a more careful editing. There are quite a few typos throughout the book, and small incongruencies where it appears edits were made and transitions not fixed, creating illogical paragraphs(Example, end of Chapter 15: Now as I run, one of those disconnected phrases comes rising in my mind. Did it say what I now think it said? Or am I imposing a meaning? Before knowing, I am out of bed, rustling through the pages, trying to find the paragraph...). I thought she was just running-now she is getting out of bed?
I am admittedly reluctant to recommend to others simply because of these kind of errors that I find annoying (Another example: The character Nora/Norah--the spelling changes throughout the book). But I will say that with a good copy editor, this book could become one of my all-time favorites. She is a gifted story teller.
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I read this book months ago, and I've been trying to find time and words to properly review it and its sequel, Before The Fall. The other reviewers here have already talked about the fine lyrical writing and beautifully crafted exposition. I must confess, I knew nothing about the Irish Civil War, and I've read only a few books in my life that adequately capture the emotional complexity and intimate realities of war in the way this one does.

On a personal level, this book really spoke to my soul at a moment when I was struggling with questions of freedom, conflict and valor. (We all have our battlefronts, don't we?) That's, perhaps, why the book rings so true and works so well as a love story, a history and an astute exploration of human nature all at the same time.

Also highly recommending Orna Ross' poetry collection, LOVE: Ten Poems.
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If it isn't blood and guts, murder and mayhem, I'm likely to turn my nose up at reading it - or so it usually goes. But when I had a chance to get this book at a very special price at Amazon (as long as I got it that day), I checked it out and learned that it relates to an Irish woman's rediscovering, and uncovering, her Irish roots. Maybe because I'm married to a guy who has strong ties to the Ould Sod (and a surname to prove it), I decided to give it a go.

Two things I should note up front: First, the book isn't new; it was published originally in 2006 as "Lover's Hollow" and reissued late last year. Second, if you read it, be prepared for a rather "unfinished" ending. That's because the new title means what it says; it's part one of a trilogy and, if you like it as much as I did, you won't waste much time getting the follow-up Before the Fall, which was published in February 2012.

This one starts as Jo Devereux, now a magazine writer living in California, returns to her native Ireland village of Mucknamore after 20 years to attend her mother's funeral. Immediately, she's surrounded by memories that she's spent two decades trying to forget. But then, a letter from her brother asks her to dig through papers in an old trunk and use them to write the family history. As she settles in to ferret out the details, the former love of her life - and one of the reasons she fled the country all those years ago - turns up to tempt her once again.

The chapters in the book flip from Jo's account of her life in 1995 as she reviews the old papers to her own days growing up in Mucknamore to the accounts of the goings-on in the Irish uprising of the 1920s or so that relate to her family.
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