Thursday 19 February 2015

The Friday Tree by Sophia Hillan

It's the summer of 1955, Belfast is a quiet, apparently peaceful backwater. Trolleybuses run in a leisurely way through sparse traffic, and lamplighters go about at night. Still, though Ulster’s eruption of 1969 is fourteen years away, all the seeds of that conflict are being sown. There is an uneasy, palpable tension in the air, yet, for the most part life seems ordered and calm.

In this sleepy, pleasant world, Brigid Arthur, five, and her brother Francis, eleven, live right on the edge of town in a close circle of family and friends. But over that long hot summer, everything begins to change and Brigid struggles to understand the complex adult world around her, a hidden world she often misinterprets. Through a series of events and revelations, some magical, others painful, she learns that the world is full of anguish but also full of hope and wonder.

I really liked this story, there were moments of humor too with certain things said which reminded me of been a kid as I've family in Northern Ireland and some things that were said I could hear my cousins in my head saying it in their Northern accent which made me smile to have memories of growing up with them.  It also brought back memories of my Dad telling us stories when he was growing up in Northern Ireland and the experiences of the troubles. It was so lovely to see the world through Brigid's eyes and the protective and trusting relationship between her and her brother, it kind of reminded me as a kid protecting my own brother as we were growing up.

This is Sophia Hillan's debut novel & I'm looking forward to reading more from this author as it was such a lovely story and beautifully written with alot of emotion throughout it too.

This book is available on Kindle & in all good bookstores.

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