Almost, Then

This paragraph was published a while back on the Paragraph Planet website. It is important to me because it captures the very moment two key characters from my second novel are born, on the page and in the story. It says so much about the people they are set to become in Almost, Then.

Here I am… Twenty minutes after the birth of his sister Rathlin, Barra was thrust into his new world. When the forceps withdrew their grip on a neck thinner than the bark of a sprouting acorn Barra flopped lifelessly onto the bed, his mother pulling her legs towards her chin, pushing her back against the oak headboard engrained with voyages of other lives, her sticky hair clinging to its story like the branches of that big old tree.

So what’s the novel about? Well, here you go…

Almost, Then follows the lives of twins Rathlin and Breacàn and explores their grief following the death of their parents when they were 12 years old. Despite their closeness, the twins have carved out lives in isolation of one other, having reacted differently to the same tragedy.  Rathlin blames her uncle for her parents’ death whilst Breacàn knows the truth and shields it from his sister. Each lies about their lives; Rathlin, about the birth and death of her daughter, Isabella and Breacàn about his relationship with Ellen, their widowed aunt by marriage. They are brought together when Ellen threatens to sell their beloved home of Ballynoe, the house their parents raised them in. Its landscape is the heart of their bond. Together at Ballynoe, and against the backdrop of childhood memories, the twins unpick their family secrets, leading to tragedy and a hidden heritage neither expected.  

Set in Scotland and Ireland, this is a story embedded in the landscape, of a love and legacy destroyed by family inheritance and the enduring grief of parental loss.

It’s currently out looking for a home while I get on with novel three. That doesn’t have a title yet, but it does have a story…

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