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Morgan Llywelyn was born in New York City; her parents were Irish and Welsh-Irish. She is an Irish citizen and lives in Ireland year round. The majority of her books cover Ireland and Irish history. Ms. Llywelyn is the only woman to have walked the entire length and width of Ireland. Ned Halloran is on the Titanic with his mother and father.
They are going to his sister Kathleen's wedding. Onboard the ship, Ned meets Dan Duffy, and they become friends. When the ship begins to sink, Duffy and Ned are separated. After a long while, Ned jumps overboard. He was one of 675 survivors brought to New York on the Carpathian. Meanwhile, in New York, Kathleen hears of the disaster through her fianc Alexander Campbell.
Alexander worked for the White Star Line, the company that owned the Titanic. Kathleen is very worried about her family. She finds her brothers name, but not her parents names, on a list of survivors. While in New York, Ned was so taken aback by the tragedy that he cannot take in the sounds and sights of America.
He is shell-shocked by the greatest experience of his life so far. Ned finally builds up the inner courage to go back to Ireland. He is in horrible shape. The Titanic tragedy had really affected the way he chose to look at life. When Ned returns to Ireland, he takes it upon himself to tell Dan Duffy's family that they lost a son and brother aboard the Titanic.
While in Dans home county of Clare, Ned meets Dans sister, Sile, Irish for Cecilia. Ned is taken away with her beauty. When Ned arrives at his family's farm, he stays in bed for weeks in order to recuperate from his terrible experience. He then talks to his parish priest, and the priest recommends that Ned go to school. The priest sent Ned to Lord Inchiquin, the man who will pay for his education. The school Ned decides to attend is Saint Edna's in Rathfarnham near Dublin.
The leader of the school is Patrick Pearse. On his way to Dublin from County Clare, Ned meets Henry Mooney. Mooney is a reporter for The Independent, an Irish newspaper. Mooney gives Ned his address and tells Ned to come and see him when he is in Dublin. On the way from Dublin to Rathfarnham, Ned becomes painfully aware of his commonness.
When Ned arrives at Saint Edna's School, Patrick Pearse greets him. He is told that he will soon learn the language of his ancestors, Gaelic/Irish. Back in America, Ned's sister Kathleen is very homesick. Kathleen is also jealous of her husbands involvement in the Freemasons. She begins to go to Mass frequently. Kathleen's priest is Father Paul OShaughnessy.
Kathleen immediately falls in love with Father Paul. At the same time in Ireland, Ned is learning Irish, and he is developing a newfound love for his homeland. At this time, Alexander Campbell is very mad with his wife Kathleen. One night he rapes her. Kathleen is so ashamed, she stays in bed for a couple of days. During this time, her housewife cares for her.
In Ireland Ned has become very good friends with Henry Mooney, the reporter. One evening while they are about town, Ned spots Sile Duffy. He talks to her, and Henry tells Ned to leave Sile alone. Henry then treats Sile as if she were inhuman. One Sunday while walking in Dublin, Ned sees a protest. He goes to watch the protest, and then British troops fire upon the crowd.
Ned sees a mother drop her child. He picks the child up and takes her to an orphanage. The shooting becomes known as The Bachelors Walk Massacre. Ned joins the Irish volunteers after the shooting. On a training exercise the men go to the ocean thinking it is just an aquatic training mission, but this is a trip to obtain Mauser rifles from a German supplier. On the way home, a British detachment tries to get the rifles, but many of the men hide their rifles.
Ned hid his rifle in a barn. When Ned goes back with Sile to get his rifle, Sile revels to him that she is a prostitute. Ned is taken aback by this. When they reach the barn, his rifle is gone.
They go into the farmhouse to see if it was moved, but it was nowhere to be found. Ned and Sile have sex in the farmhouse. Ned meets Tom Clarke, a fierce Irish patriot, and Sean MacDermott, an Irish leader. During this time, there is much turmoil in Ireland. On one day in April, the Irish Republican Army overthrows the General Post Office in Dublin.
This becomes the headquarter for the rising. The Irish Republican Army raises an Irish flag over the Post Office. Some of the important people who have strongholds are Michael Collins, Eamon de Valera, and Joe Plunkett. The rising lasted for about a week, with Patrick Pearse being the man who orders the Irish Republican Army surrender. For his part in the so-called Easter Rebellion, Pearse is executed along with at least fifteen others. At the end of the book, Ned goes to Saint Edna's School.
He sees Sile along with the orphan girl at the top of the stairs. Sile says, Weve been searching for you everywhere. Bibliography:
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