About the Author:
Sheila O'Flanagan is the author of 30 bestselling novels including What Eden Did Next, Three Weddings and a Proposal, The Women Who Ran Away, Her Husband's Mistake, The Hideaway and The Missing Wife. She lives in Dublin with her husband.
www.sheilaoflanagan.com / Twitter: @sheilaoflanagan Facebook.com/sheilabooks
For my stop I have my review, enjoy, non spoiler as usual.
The Woman on the Bridge by Sheila O'Flanagan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Time taken to read - in and out over 4 days
Pages - 448
Publisher - Headline review
Source - Review copy
Blurb from Goodreads
Dublin. The 1920s. As war tears Ireland apart, two young people are caught up in events that will bring love, tragedy - and the hardest of choices.
In a country fighting for freedom, it's hard to live a normal life. Winnie O'Leary supports the cause, but she doesn't go looking for trouble. Then rebel Joseph Burke steps into her workplace. Winnie is furious with him about a broken window. She's not interested in romance. But love comes when you least expect it.
Joseph's family shelter fugitives and transport weapons. Joseph would never ask Winnie to join the fight; but his mother and sisters demand commitment. Will Winnie choose Joseph, and put her own loved ones in deadly danger? Or wait for a time of peace that may never come?
Ireland's tumultuous independence struggle is the backdrop for an unforgettable story of courage and heartbreak, in which heroes are made of ordinary people. Inspired by the story of Sheila O'Flanagan's grandmother, The Woman on the Bridge is the unmissable, compulsive new novel from a bestselling author.
1920's Ireland, civil unrest and a country at war wanting to be free and amongst that we have Winnie - working in a shop, can do measurements without tape and likes the simple life. When the shop is damaged it brings a meeting with rebel Joseph. We alone with Winnie are dragged into the cause and finding ourselves caught between sides in the war and the dangers of being a civilian within it let alone the partner of a rebel.
I do enjoy books like this, I never used to read Historical fiction but find as I get older I am enjoying it more and more. Plus my history isn't the best so I generally find within reading books like this I stop and research & O'Flanagan does a great job bringing to life the characters and a time period of history.
Winnie comes from a working class style family, Joseph's family whilst having money are very involved in the troubles and supportive/activists with freedom. As Winnie and Joseph's relationship develops we see her being pulled further into the other side, strong belief's and the trouble and threats that come from this.
It is a love story essentially but not exclusively that, set around a rough and at times bloody period of Irish history and we get other veins of normality and harsh reality. Alcoholism, DV, family dynamics, love, loss, grief it is a mixed bag and envelopes the reader in the characters lives, trials and tribulations whilst giving us some important history with emotive moments.
I have read O'Flanagan before and will read her again, 4/5 for me this time.