Tag: deirdre purcell

Book Haul | February & March 2019

This year I really want to stop buying books and focus on reading the ones I have already (because it’s a lot, people!). Despite this though I did pick up a few books in February and March (I managed not to buy anything in Jan though!).

Two of the books I got came in my Books and Charms box but I did buy three. They were second hand and I had a €5 voucher so it’s not so bad.

First off let’s take a look at the books that came in my Books and Charms box. Books and Charms is an Irish book subscription box service. You can order a one-time box or a subscription and they have some other cool bookish stuff on their site too.

The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks

The Notebook (The Notebook, #1)

How far can love endure?

Noah Calhoun has just returned from World War Two. Attempting to escape the ghosts of battle, he tries to concentrate on restoring an old plantation home to its former glory. And yet he is haunted by images of the beautiful girl he met there fourteen years before, a girl who captured his heart like no other.

But when these distant memories begin to slide into reality, the passion that had lain still is ignited once more. Though so much is in their way, the miraculous force of their love refuses to fade.

Double Wedding by Patricia Scanlan

Double Wedding

Jessica and Carol, two childhood friends, are both engaged to be married. Secretly afraid her fiance is going to chicken out, Carol is insisting on a double wedding.

Jessica is appalled at the idea: she doesn’t want to share the happiest day of her life with whining Carol and her womanising boyfriend. Unfortunately for her, she has a very soft heart and is easily persuaded to agree.

Carol’s parents are separated and at loggerheads. Neither wants the other to be there. Who will win that war? Nadine, Carol’s younger sister, is wild and disruptive and drinks like a fish – hardly the ideal wedding guest.

Will Carol’s family come to blows? Will her fiance do a runner? Will they make it to the altar? And can Jessica and Carol’s friendship survive a Double Wedding?

Now let’s take a look at the books I bought. I got them in Vibes and Scribes second-hand shop in Cork. They have a second-hand books shop, a new books shop and an amazing arts and crafts shop across the bridge. They’re my favourite retailers in town!

I picked up three books by Irish writers (also all female but this wasn’t a goal) for the Irish Readathon in March. The Dolocher I picked up based on a review by Aoife from Fred Weasley Died Laughing on YouTube.

The Dolocher by Caroline Barry

The Dolocher

Victorian London had Jack the Ripper. Georgian Dublin had the Dolocher…

The Dolocher is stalking the alleyways of Dublin. Half man, half pig, this terrifying creature has unleashed panic on the streets. Can it really be the evil spirit of a murderer who has cheated the hangman’s noose by taking his own life in his prison cell, depriving the mob of their rightful revenge? Or is there some other strange supernatural explanation?

This terror has come at the perfect time for down-at-heel writer Solomon Fish. With his new broadsheet reporting ever more gruesome stories of the mysterious Dolocher, sales are growing daily and fuelling the city’s fear. But when the Dolocher starts killing and Solomon himself is set upon, he realises that there’s more to the story than he could ever have imagined.

With the help of his fearless landlady, ship’s surgeon-turned-apothecary Merriment O’Grady, Solomon goes after the Dolocher. Torn between reason and superstition, they must hold their nerve as everyone around them loses theirs. But are they hunting the Dolocher or is the Dolocher hunting them?

The Husband by Deirdre Purcell

The Husband

When city girl Marian falls for the charms of Dermot, she falls hard. So much so that she finds herself upping sticks and moving with him from Chicago to rural Ireland, the country of his origin, where he plans to take over his father’s GP practice. 
But tragedy strikes unexpectedly and Marian finds herself facing early widowhood, alone and devastated, in a strange land. As she tries to makes sense of it all, throwing herself into community activity in a bid to cope with her grief, she begins to receive menacing anonymous notes that concern her enough to bring them to the attention of local garda Jack Cantwell, who investigates.
Nothing can prepare Marian for the discovery that Dermot, the husband she loved, was not the man she thought she knew. But, as greater questions take shape – such as what she will do with the rest of her life – she must face her demons head on, if she is ever to move on and learn to trust again. 
After all, the Irish village of Glanmillish may be small, but there is plenty going on…

The Little Red Chairs by Edna O’Brien

The Little Red Chairs

The much-anticipated new novel from the literary world’s master of storytelling, Edna O’Brien.

A woman discovers that the foreigner she thinks will redeem her life is a notorious war criminal.

Vlad, a stranger from Eastern Europe masquerading as a healer, settles in a small Irish village where the locals fall under his spell. One woman, Fidelma McBride, becomes so enamored that she begs him for a child. All that world is shattered when Vlad is arrested, and his identity as a war criminal is revealed.

Fidelma, disgraced, flees to England and seeks work among the other migrants displaced by wars and persecution. But it is not until she confronts him-her nemesis-at the tribunal in The Hague, that her physical and emotional journey reaches its breathtaking climax.

THE LITTLE RED CHAIRS is a book about love, and the endless search for it. It is also a book about mankind’s fascination with evil, and how long, how crooked, is the road towards Home.

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Synopsis and book cover from Goodreads. Photos from my Instagram @elainehowlin_

Reading Vlog 4 | June 2018 | Falling For a Dancer & Asking For It Stage Adaption

In this months vlog I chat about going to see the stage adaption of Asking For It by Louise O’Neill, I’m reading Falling For A Dancer by Deirdre Purcell and Reap The Wind by Karen Chance, and I’m watching Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on Netflix.

Falling For A Dancer by Deirdre Purcell TowerHouse Dublin MacMillan publishers

I set myself a reading goal of 400 pages for the weekend I recorded. Not a huge goal but I’m a slow reader so it is a good bit for me to read.

Jazzy June Readathon TBR

Jazzy June is a readathon hosted by Books & Munches all about rereading favourite books. There are no tasks or challenges involved and no book quota. You simply reread a few favourites. Check out Kathy’s original post about the readathon here.

My TBR

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1) Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone

I’m rereading Harry Potter at the moment as part of a video series I’m doing where I read a chapter a week, listen to a podcast doing the same and post a video about my thoughts on these. My first video for this series will be out on Sunday. Check out my announcement post here.

Falling for a Dancer Falling For A Dancer

I adore this book. It’s set in the 1930’s which is one of my favourite time periods and focuses mainly on home life. The story follows a young woman who becomes pregnant and is married off to a widower in West Cork who has a few kids in need of a mammy. The book is about her life here, going from living in town to a very rural setting, from being free to being responsible for the care of several children and how she tries to find some semblance of happiness and doing something for herself, making decisions for herself.

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1) Magic Bites

This is Book of the Month for one of my Goodreads groups and it works perfectly for the challenge I’m doing in another group plus I loved it the first I read it. So lots of reasons to read this this month. It’s an urban fantasy book about a world where magic and technology are constantly at odds with one another. They kind of sway up and down between being the most powerful force at a time and eventually one of them will rule. When magic is high most technology doesn’t work and vice versa. The series centres on Kate Daniels, a mercenary, who is on the hunt for the murderer of her guardian. This brings into contact with various magical and human factions within the world where she discovers more people are being killed and is pressured by these factions to find the killer. It’s a great introduction to the world and the series just gets better and better.

Irish Writers

It’s time to show a little pride in the literary talents of my home. Ireland is well known for its rich cultural history in art and literature. Mostly old stories about the fairy folk and god save us, leprechauns! And I am a big fan of those stories but we have a lot more going on than just fairy tales. Here are some of my favourite Irish writers on a range of subjects.


 Marian Keyes

This woman is amazing! If you ever need a pick me up just pop onto her twitter feed for a healthy pint-sized dose of the giggles. Some of my favourite books by her are Sushi for Beginners, Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married, Last Chance Saloon and her non-fiction collection Under the Duvet. Her stories are full of joy and love but she also delves into serious issues such as addiction and depression.

 Deirdre Purcell

I adore Purcell’s story about Elizabeth Sullivan’s trials and heartaches in the west coast of Ireland. Falling for a Dancer is one of my all-time favourite books. I’ve read it 3 times already! The story was made into a tv miniseries starring Colin Farrel as well.

Sebastian Barry Sebastian Barry

I’ve only read The Secret Scripture by Barry but it was enough to make me a fan. Tense, emotional, heart-breaking, it’s the kind of story that stays with you. This was recently made into a movie as well starring Aidan Turner, Theo James, Eric Bana, and Rooney Mara.

Bram Stoker Bram Stoker

Again I’ve only read one work by Stoker and that is, of course, Dracula….but I’ve read it like 3 times… I am a huge paranormal fan and this guy brought vampires into popular fiction. Gotta love him!

Oscar Wilde Oscar Wilde

He may have written only one novel and it was an amazing novel but it isn’t favourite work by him. The Importance of Being Earnest, another one of my all time favourites, is so witty and ridiculous I adore it!

J.M. Synge J.M. Synge

(Man I have a lot of playwrights on this list) The Playboy of the Western World caused riots when it was first performed in Dublin in 1907. People were so insulted by Synge’s portrayal of the Irish and believed the play to be morally offensive. Luckily the play survived this silliness for us to enjoy today.

Have you read anything by these authors? Can you recommend any Irish writers I should check out? Let me know in the comments!