Twins Dylan and Emma Goldman move from Washington to Belfast when their journalist father is sent to cover the turbulent early days of the civil rights movement. The complicated friendships prove life-threatening when the simmering tensions in Northern Ireland erupt into violence in the summer of 1969.
Big changes are coming to late-Sixties Belfast. At first life seems normal for Sammy and Maeve, two children from the opposing republican and loyalist communities. Sammy tries to avoid trouble with his unemployed father, while Maeve has lived with her aunt and uncle since her mother’s death.
When twins Dylan and Emma Goldman move from Washington to Belfast they strike up friendships with Maeve and Sammy. Gradually the nationalist girl and loyalist boy overcome their suspicions of each other, and all four children become friends. But even as they have fun at local sports clubs, attend the Goldman’s barbeques, and secretly make their own radio programmes, they can’t ignore the trouble that is slowing gripping the country. And when the simmering tensions in Northern Ireland erupt into violence it threatens not just their friendships – but their very lives.
poignant … absorbing
the impressive achievement of this historical novel is to present complex events lucidly and to convey their intensity. Readers of eleven upwards will be absorbed by the dramatic events which impact upon the lives of the four main characters
the reality of violence and its aftermath is well done
would make a very good introduction to the history of the Northern Ireland conflict for children in their early teens
should be compulsory reading for every Irish young person
captures a volatile Belfast so well
couldn’t put the book down
brings the past to life in a very readable, engaging way
while readers are familiar with wars that wrack distant parts of the world, this accurate depiction of violence in a familiar and seemingly benign area will surprise and educate many—a worthy accomplishment
just beautiful writing
ideal for age ten and up
without glossing over violence or partisan attitudes, the book delineates the conflict in an age-appropriate manner
thoroughly-researched historical fiction
Gallagher constructs a good tale, and doesn't shy away from tragedy
10 out of 10 … will never want to put it down ... a real page-turner
Brian Gallagher makes you feel as if you are really there
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