It’s a pleasure to take part in the BlogTour Before My Actual Heart Breaks by Tish Delaney.
‘An incredible debut exploring loneliness, grief and the long-lasting repercussions of trauma set against the backdrop of the Northern Irish Troubles.’
About the Author
Tish Delaney was born and brought up in Northern Ireland at the height of the Troubles. Like a lot of people of her generation, she left the sectarian violence behind by moving to England. After graduating from Manchester University, she moved to London and worked on various magazines and broadsheets as a reporter, reviewer and sub-editor. She left the Financial Times in 2014 to live in the Channel Islands to pursue her career as a writer. Follow @TishDelaney2 on Twitter
About the book
‘If I could go back to being Sixteen again, I’d do things differently.’ When she was young Mary Rattigan wanted to fly. She was going to take off like an angel from heaven and leave the muck and madness of troubled Northern Ireland behind. Nothing but the Land of Happy Ever After would do for her. But as a Catholic girl with a B.I.T.C.H. for a Mammy and a silent Daddy, things did not go as she and Lizzie Magee had planned.
Now, five children, twenty-five years, an end to the bombs and bullets, enough whiskey to sink a ship and endless wakes and sandwich teas later, Mary’s alone. She’s learned plenty of hard lessons and missed a hundred steps towards the life she’d always hoped for. Will she finally find the courage to ask for the love she deserves? Or is it too late?
After reading this I stepped away and thought about the core of the story, which is surrounded by many other equally important issues, but what the core was for me. I say for me because it may be different, depending on each reader and their frame of reference. It’s not easy given the fact that the author has created a poignant picture of family dynamics, political atmosphere, religious hierarchy and dominance, economic and social structure in Ireland from the 70s into the 21st century.
For me the way Mary, her personality, psyche and choices were formed and driven by and through the abuse she suffered. The fraught mother-daughter relationship, which at some point brings her to a crossroads and acknowledgement that a layer of umbilical loyalty cord results in a reversal of roles.
The way her expectation of self, her lack of self-confidence, and the constant feeling of having lost out or missed something along the way – it has defined her life and the way she loves or doesn’t.
It’s a story of incredible depth, and I think many readers will be able to relate to Mary or some element of the story in one way or another. Delaney is a fascinating storyteller.
Buy Before My Actual Heart Breaks at Amazon Uk or go to Goodreads for any other retailer. Publisher: Penguin – Windmill Books, pub date 28th October 2021 – Paperback, £8.99. Buy at Amazon com.