You can order ‘The Country of Our Dreams’ from Amazon, Book Depository or Booktopia, or if you are in Sydney, visit the fabulous Berkelouw’s of Leichhardt, the marvellous Harry Hartog’s of Bondi Junction, or the excellent UNSW Bookshop on campus.
In 19th century Ireland – just one generation after the Great Famine had left a million dead and scattered the Irish across the globe – a new crop failure threatened the land and its people. This time round, a radical idea began to take hold: that famine was neither divine nor natural in origin but a political event, based on unequal power relations. From this, the globally based Irish Land League was born, led by the visionary Michael Davitt. Fanny and Anna Parnell’s Ladies Land League would soon follow.
Ireland, and the world, would never be the same again.
In 21st century Sydney, preparations are under way for Loyola Ryan’s 50th birthday. Protective older brother of Vianney, Xavier and their sister Siena, Loyola wants his family around him on the big day – even their difficult mother Kate. But Xavier has gone missing. Given his history of addiction, the family are worried. Vianney’s partner Hilary fears yet another Ryan family drama. Only Vianney is unconcerned. He says Xavier is busy working on his novel about their glorious ancestor, Michael Davitt. But he won’t tell them anything more…
What they say about The Country of Our Dreams:
Stephanie Dowrick, Forgiveness & Other Acts of Love“: The best novels are filled with ideas. Or offer characters you can’t forget. The glorious novels are rarer still: packed with ideas, characters – plus a whole world of new understanding and experience. The Country of Our Dreams is such a novel. Mary O’Connell has the finest gifts of the diaspora Irish: passion, intelligence, humour and rebellion. She brings all that – and more – to these pages. I loved it.”
Tom Keneally, Schindler’s List: This skilfully told novel is in itself an unfamiliar tale of intense narrative interest, but also a significant case of the triumph of moral resistance over the forces of violent repression and violent resistance.
Lyn Tranter: Australian Literary Management: On the cover of this remarkable book –Stephanie Dowrick is quoted as saying “I loved it.” I totally endorse her statement as I too loved it. You don’t have to be Irish, you don’t have to be familiar with the Irish Land League, all you have to be is a reader who loves a great novel, which this is. Her writing is simply wonderful, the plot highly original and above all a true page turner. I highly recommend this fantastic book.