I do think learning history through story is such a good idea. This book is about three specific sisters, who truly existed, and were part of the 1916 Freedom Rebellion in Dublin, Ireland. Two of the sisters were married to leaders of the uprising; one sister was a volunteer with the organization. There are songs written about this insurgence and about the young women and their husbands, who became martyrs to the cause for generations to come.
The beautiful sisters are just 3 of the six girls in a family of 12 children. They are protestant and are reared in the wealthy, privileged part of Dublin. Their mother is strong willed and attempts to thwart their efforts to become part of the Citizen Army, and it is reassuring to know that she does grow to love her kind and loving son-in-law. Mother Gifford does see to it that each of her daughters receives a university education and has a plan for her life. A daughter who is a journalist has left the home fires for America and hopes for a bigger career in writing. It is also the start of WWI, so the Freedom Fighters are feeling that London will be too busy with the Germans and the war to be able to stop the fight for freedom. REBEL SISTERS is caught up in the energy of the times and yet has found three individual stories to tell with lots of courageous detail making it also a wonderful love story.
TLC Book Tours sent an early e-copy of the book for review. Irish love story and rebellion – it is bound to be a hit and a success for the 100 year celebration of this historic event.
“Marita Conlon-McKenna is one of Ireland’s favourite authors. Her books include the award-winning UNDER THE HAWTHORNE TREE, set during Ireland’s Great Famine, which has been widely translated and published and is now considered an Irish classic. Her other books include the bestseller THE MAGDALEN. She is a winner of the International Reading Association Award in the USA. She is a former chairperson of Irish PEN. She lives in Dublin with her husband and family of four children.” (From book cover)
Although REBEL SISTERS is about war on many fronts, it is just beautifully written and it is held in high esteem. The research is extensive and the personal is well included. The style has been compared to Maeve Binchy’s form and detailed representation. The sisters had full lives after the rebellion and made a big difference in the lives of their community from setting up a museum history lesson, to art, poetry, and preserving their husband’s legacy and work. They are included in the history books as brave spirits to the causes of justice, relieving poverty and hunger, and working towards a more Irish educational system. Their colleagues are a virtual who’s who of Ireland’s history and leaders.
You may just want to make a fresh pot of tea and enjoy warm Irish Soda Bread while you settle in for a fine read.