Writing, Reading, and Smiling . . . It's Contagious.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Birds no longer whistle in the trees. They lie dead in the weeds.

Birds no longer whistle in the trees.
They lie dead in the weeds.

According to ancient Irish tradition, the wren would command the birds and the king would become the pauper for one day. For life to be restored to its natural state, the wren must be hunted and slain.

Dead Bird in the Weeds relates the tale of trodden people rising as wrens to win freedom from the tyranny of England during the 1798 rebellion in Ireland.

This is the story of one such wren named Aisling Doran, a peasant in Wexford, Ireland. Compelled by the murder of her father, the loss of her faith, and the yearning of her being to end the anguish she must endure, this daring young woman joins the revolutionary United Irishmen. Throughout the fields, hills, meadows, and mountains, she and her family wage war for liberty.

During this struggle for independence, Aisling finds the courage to love, to die, and most importantly, to live.

I have always enjoyed tales of Ireland and revolution because of my Irish heritage and interest in history. Along with my love of folklore and nature, these qualities instilled the desire to pen Dead Bird in the Weeds, a work depicting the 1798 rebellion in Wexford, Ireland.

Dead Bird in the Weeds is more than a story of rebellion. This piece of historical fiction guides the reader through a journey of courage, self-worth, betrayal, and love. These enduring aspects of the human existence are characterized in the lives of five valiant friends who fight for freedom.

Aisling is the tortured protagonist of this novel. The daughter of a peasant farmer in Wexford, Ireland, she wishes for nothing but to abandon her misery and the poverty plaguing her people. Her only outlet is through the mythical stories she creates for her family; however, the material for her tales is gathered from the nightmares haunting her.

Michael, a strong man with a big heart and a wooden whistle, joins the rebellion to protect Aisling, the cousin he has loved since childhood.

Lorcán returns home from north Wexford where he is hunted for conspiring to usurp England’s hold upon Ireland. As obsessive with his desire to dominate Aisling as he is about instigating a rebellion, Lorcán leads his men in the fight against tyranny.

Cara, a sprightly young woman with a contagious smile, finds herself on the march to freedom because she loves her brother, Lorcán, too much to stay at home. Her love is tested when she is presented with a difficult choice.

Finn, Michael’s brother, is involved in the rebellion by accident. Suffering from an injury and his betrayal of his family, his only means of survival are to cling to the song of the wrens and Cara’s pledge of friendship.

The reader will not only follow these brave individuals marching upon the path to liberty but will also experience the characters' ability or inability to learn from the obstacles before them. Along the way, key battles such as those at Oulart, Enniscorthy, New Ross, and Vinegar Hill will be enacted, and prominent revolutionaries such as Fr. John Murphy, Edward Roche, Beauchamp Bagenal Harvey, and Miles Byrne will be met.

Dead Bird in the Weeds is a story of courage and hope, love and friendship, and the partaking of a mission to win dignity and freedom.

For more information on Dead Bird in the Weeds,
visit Sunflower Footsteps at www.sunflowerfootsteps.com


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