‘If you let go, can you truly be free?’
Grief and guilt, love and resentment: a small, Irish fishing community, divided is the basis for this new release from Irish writer Deirdre Eustace.
Finding Alison is a story of one woman’s struggle in love, loss and betrayal, but ultimately a story of courage.
Just released by Black & White Publishing, I was delighted to be asked to join the blog tour (full details attached) for Finding Alison and today I have my as ever voluntary and unbiased review for you all.
No one in Carniskey has ever truly understood what led Sean Delaney, a seasoned local fisherman, to risk his life in a high storm in the dead of night. Now, three years on from that tragic night, his wife Alison is still struggling with her unresolved grief and increasing financial worries.
After three difficult years, Alison has grown distant from her daughter and estranged from her friends and fellow villagers, particularly her best friend Kathleen who harbours a deeply guarded secret of her own. Isolated by its stunning yet often cruel surroundings, this is a community used to looking after its own but the arrival of an outsider – artist and lifelong nomad, William – offers Alison a new perspective on life and love that threatens to unearth the mysteries of the past.
A story of courage and enduring humanity, Finding Alison follows the community through their struggles in love, loss and betrayal, each coming to understand that only in truth can we find the peace and liberation essential for true happiness.
Alison Delaney is the central character in Deirdre Eustace’s new release Finding Alison. Immediately we are introduced to Alison the night her life changes forever. Her husband, Sean, a local fisherman, is seen heading out to sea late on a very stormy night and a witness sees the boat going down. That fateful knock on the door is the start of months of grieving for Alison. She is left inconsolable as she walks the coastline always searching for a sign. Eight months later the search is called off and Alison has to accept the fact that Sean is gone.
Hannah, her daughter, abandoned to the care of others over that period, needs her mother but Alison is unable to cope. Financially she struggles as the insurance company are slow to pay up without a body and Alison’s work as a contributor to a local paper is not sufficient to cover her expenses.
Hannah begins to rebel and Alison soon realises that she is not handling her life too well.
Kathleen, her best friend, has remained by Alison’s side, always there with a hug and a listening ear but Kathleen has her own life to live and is moving on with a new relationship and possibilities of a happy and fulfilling future.
Meanwhile, Sean’s elderly mother Maryanne , after suffering a traumatic burglary following on from her grief over Sean, is now in a nursing home. Alison feels it is her duty to sit with Maryanne every day and try to bring some solace into her life. As much as Alison would love to leave Carniskey and start out again she feels compelled to stay.
Alison has a very strong relationship with the sea and seems to hear it’s call whenever she walks with her dogs. On one of these occasions, her path crosses with William. With his nomadic lifestyle and his artistic nature, Alison finds herself drawn to him. She feels very safe in his company and is aware of something stirring deep within her that she thought long lost. Her writing career had always been side-stepped for her husband and her daughter as she felt her wifely role carried more importance. She had always strived to be what society expected of her as a mother and wife.
Somewhere along the way, Alison got lost.
Finding Alison is a very sentimental read. Alison’s story is so heart-breakingly sad. At times, as she watches the crashing of the waves battering the coastline, her heartache and loneliness is so palpable. There is a fragility about her that is so vividly portrayed in Deirdre Eustace’s writing. Her relationship with William is beautifully written as his character develops and his story is revealed.
Finding Alison is ultimately the story of one woman’s struggle to survive against all the adversity thrown her way. It is a story of hope. It is a story courage.
Purchase Link ~ Finding Alison
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About the Author:
Deirdre Eustace, is a native of Bonmahon, Co Waterford. Her poetry and short stories have appeared in a variety of publications. Her work has been broadcast on both local and national radio. Deirdre’s first novel, If I Trust in You, described by the Irish Independent as ‘tense and gripping… a riveting debut was published in July, 2009. It remained in the bestsellers list for several months and won a Publishing Ireland ‘Book of the Month’ Award. With over twenty years experience as a writer, editor and proofreader, Deirdre is a full member of the Association of Freelance Editors, Proofreaders and Indexers (AFEPI) Ireland.
Finding Alison is her second novel.