‘What if your child was taken?’
Words that invoke terror in the mind of every parent….
Irish debut novelist, Nicola Cassidy, writes about Molly Thomas, ‘a feisty, independent soul‘ struggling to keep herself above water in anyway she can.
December Girl is Molly Thomas’s story.
Just published by UK Digital publisher, Bombshell Books, I am joining Nicola today on tour with my review of this outstanding debut.
I hope you enjoy!!
Molly Thomas is a feisty, independent soul, born on the Winter Solstice. At every stage of her life she has faced troubles.
As a young woman her family are evicted from their home at Christmas. Molly swears vengeance on the jealous neighbour and land agent responsible, Flann Montgomery.
Then in 1896 her baby son is taken from his pram. Molly searches the streets for Oliver. The police are called but her baby is gone.
Why does trouble seem to follow Molly? And will she ever find out what happened to her child?
December Girl is a tale of family bonds, love, revenge and murder.
The year is 1896. A young mother is in a shop queuing, with her baby beside her in his pram. She turns to pay. She looks back…
‘Empty. Oliver. Gone.
My baby! My baby’s gone!
I let the panic take over. There were screams now. I could hear them coming from my throat. I was wailing’
These are the words of Molly Thomas, a young girl from Ireland, alone on the streets of London. Almost two years earlier Molly lived with her family in Co. Meath as tenants of a local wealthy family. Molly loved her home and loved nothing more than feeling the wind in her hair as she climbed up Dowth mound, a ‘grassy Stone Age tomb that lay like an upside-down pudding bowl’ in her family’s sheep field. But one action caused a turning point in Molly’s young life forcing her down a very different and unexpected path.
Evicted from their home, Molly experiences anger like never before. Moved to a neighbour’s house and eventually into town, Molly misses the life she once had.
Over time Molly’s life completely unravels and she soon finds herself in London. Initially struggling with the cards dealt her, Molly wonders will she ever be able to see the daylight again….and then her baby is taken……
Now I have to admit that I was completely taken aback with the path this novel took. Once I got into it, I found it very difficult to put down. I was distraught. I was heartbroken. I was almost lighting a candle for Molly, in the hope it would assist her in some small way to overcome all the horrors placed in her path.
This is no light tale about a young girl’s exploits and disappointments in the late 19th century. December Girl is a story of love and heartbreak, of family and disappointments, of fear and courage. It is a story of a very brave young girl as she attempts to rise above the life given her. But each time she almost reaches the top, she is knocked back down.
December Girl is also a historical account of a time when the world was a changing place. Estates were being sold off and the tenants were able to live more comfortable lives. The power of the landowner was greatly reduced. Nicola Cassidy mentions the many Irish who fought alongside the English during the First World War, with the Irish Rebellion of 1916 also mentioned. It was quite interesting to see the impact of societal changes on the landlord as the estates begin to crumble. The ordinary folk begin to climb up and rightfully claim their own place in the world.
Nicola Cassidy based her novel on two historical occurrences, an actual eviction in Dowth in 1880 and a kidnapping of a child in Dublin during the 1960’s. With these ideas firmly planted in her head, Nicola expertly wound the two stories together creating this wonderful novel that quite literally broke my heart.
An incredible debut, I so look forward to what Nicola produces next. Can I just mention the cover? It is stunningly evocative in it’s simplicity. It is ghostly, it is moving, it is beautiful.
December Girl is out now and it’s definitely a book for all, whether you are a person who chooses historical fiction or not.
An emotional novel – poignant, distressing, heartrending and tragic…..yet compelling, engrossing and disturbingly real.
Congrats Nicola Cassidy!
Purchase Link ~ December Girl
Meet the Author:
Nicola Cassidy is a writer and blogger from Co. Louth, Ireland. She started her writing career early, entering short story competitions, penning protest letters to magazines and making up characters in her head.
Encouraged by her English teachers, she chose to study journalism at Dublin City University.
Nicola signed with US based Trace Literary Agency in 2016. December Girl was picked up by Betsy Reavley at UK digital publisher Bombshell Books in June 2017 and was published 26 October 2017
Website ~ http://nicolacassidy.com/
Twitter ~ @ladynicci
Facebook ~ https://www.facebook.com/ladynicciblog/