Thursday 13 October 2022

New Books & Titles | The Dawning of the Day by Liam Nevin

The Dawning of the Day by Liam Nevin

– sweeping-epic family drama set against background of a turbulent decade in Irish history –

Front cover of The Dawning of the Day by Liam Nevin featuring a scene from Dublin's O'Connell Street in the immediate aftermath of the Easter Rising of 1912

As Ireland's Decade of Centenaries draws to a close, a recently published historical novel by Liam Nevin recounts that turbulent period in a sweeping epic of interweaving tales concerning three families, their trials and tribulations, their lives and loves.

The Brennans are a working-class family from Dublin's inner city. In 1915, John Brennan enlists in the British Army, where he experiences the horrors of war first hand.

In nearby rural County Kildare (but almost a world away) are the Byrnes, a family of farm labourers who work for Major O'Kelly, a wealthy landowner of Irish Ascendancy descent.

Events that are about to unfold will change everything – forever and for all concerned.

The genesis of this book, Liam Nevin recalls, lies in a story that his mother used to relate to him as a young boy, of a soldier being fatally wounded in a field that they would pass on their Sunday walks. The incident occurred during Ireland's civil war (1922-23) and, it stoked an interest in him that he would often return to.

I never remembered being taught much about that time when I was at school in the sixties. It was probably too painful or too embarrassing for those who lived through it. Most history books went only as far as the Anglo-Irish War, when Ireland had 'won her freedom'. I remember the enmity that existed between neighbours when I was growing up in the fifties and sixties. I struggled to understand why some families were for and others against the Treaty of 1921. My research would lead me to the answer.

The 1913 Lockout, the Great War, the Easter Rising of 1916, the Irish War of Independence and subsequent civil war all come within the scope of this narrative. Faithful attention to historical detail adds to its allure. However, it is the impact of these events on the human level (the individual and interpersonal tales) that offer up a rich seam of storytelling.

A native of County Kildare, Liam Nevin lives in Shepperton, England with his wife Marlene, where he is now retired, having worked for forty-one years at Heathrow Airport. He writes on Irish and local history, in both fictional and non-fictional styles.

The Dawning of the Day by Liam Nevin is published by The Manuscript Publisher and available to buy online, in print and e-book editions. Previously published works by Liam Nevin include The Tobacco Fields of Meath (2010) and Brightening Over Dillon's (2016), which are also available to buy online.

Hear Liam Nevin speak to Theresa Quinn of Liffey Sound FM about his books and writing activities

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