A Terrible Beauty

A Terrible Beauty

by Katie Hanrahan


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The penal colony in Western Australia is escape-proof---but that is about to change. Sentenced to seven years transportation, Mary Claire O'Dwyer is determined to free the Fenian rebels. She will find allies in unexpected places, where a Royal Marine's scarlet coat can be another deception.

On the voyage to Western Australia, she is pressured by Simon Plowman to work for him as a covert spy, but the man who crushed the Fenian uprising in 1867 will inadvertently train her in the art of espionage and deception. She wastes no time in organizing a jail break.

In the U.K., Simon is seen to undermine every important Irish movement. Whether he is manipulating Charles Stuart Parnell or blackmailing Lord Salisbury, he appears to be an agent for the Crown, and when he casts his lot with Edward Carson's Ulster Volunteers, his loyalty goes unquestioned. At the same time, his daughter develops into a radical revolutionary, sneaking around behind her father's back to support the workers during the Dublin Lockout of 1913 and expanding into gun-running for the Citizen Army.

Aware that her mother left a record of her time in Fremantle, Eireann never stops searching, while her father never stops holding her at arm's length. What she perceives as political differences or lack of love is far removed from Simon's real motives. Only when she believes that she may soon face her father across battle lines will Simon introduce her to her parents, and demonstrate just how deceiving appearances can be.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780615402260
Publisher: Newcastlewest Books
Publication date: 04/04/2011
Pages: 392
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 16 Years

About the Author

Katie Hanrahan is a student of Irish history and the author of "The Leaven Of The Pharisees". Please visit her website at www.katiehanrahan.com

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Terrible Beauty 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly recommended book. Well written, enjoyable to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put it down once I started. I just fell in love with the characters and there were times when I was moved to tears or times when I was reading as fast as I could to see what would happen next. This book is well-written, and it's set in a different time and place than most historical fiction.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's been 150 years since the Civil War began but no one talks much about the Irish who joined the army so they could learn how to be soldiers, and then go back to Ireland to join in an armed rebellion against Queen Victoria's rule. The story of the Plowman family is touching and tragic at the same time. I'll recommend this for the book club.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
With revolution and rebellion unsettling the world, A TERRIBLE BEAUTY is a timely novel. The plot traces a family of rebels from 1867 when Irish soldiers rose up (and were quickly smashed down) through the Easter Rising of 1916. This book weaves together the actions of the populace and the English government's attempt to either pacify or suppress their demands, seeking to hold on to power at all costs. There is a strong emotional element to the story, however, as the family at the center of the story is torn apart by secrecy and deception. This would make an excellent book club selection, whether the members want to discuss interpersonal relationships, family dynamics, or the sort of mindset that sends some people off to do what they wouldn't do under normal circumstances. The book will keep you reading until you get to the end. There are plenty of twists and turns to hold a reader's interest.