BookBrowse Reviews This Human Season by Louise Dean

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This Human Season

By Louise Dean

This Human Season
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  • Hardcover: Feb 2007,
    384 pages.
    Paperback: Feb 2008,
    384 pages.

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Strong characters provide a sympathetic rendering of both sides of the Northern Ireland conflict. Novel

Set during the last two months of 1979 Louise Dean's novel is a show stopper, not least because the "troubles" in Northern Ireland are a very sensitive subject for any English author to write about without appearing biased, but she pulls this delicate feat off with aplomb. In this, her sophomore novel, following Becoming Strangers, Dean avoids taking sides or even getting into the politics of the situation in any detail, instead she focuses on the universal human tragedy that occurs when neighbors go to war with each other.

She also neatly avoids falling into the trap of simplifying the conflict on purely religious grounds; the story is told from three perspectives: Kathleen Moran, a Catholic mother of four children; John Dunn, a former British soldier, with no vested interest in the conflict, ...

A Short History of Northern Ireland (map)

  • English involvement in Ireland began around 1170 when Dermot Mac Murchada, King of Leinster (one of 4 Irish provinces) asked for Henry II's help to return him to the throne from which he'd been ousted (for more about Henry II see sidebar to The Serpent's Tale above). Henry (great-grandson of William the Conqueror of Normandy) invaded but in the ensuing battle Dermot died and Henry named himself Lord of Ireland.
  • Over the next couple of centuries English expansion was consolidated, with many of the Norman lords marrying with locals and thus, over the generations becoming indistinguishable from the Irish.
  • During the 15th century the English were driven out until they retained only a small area of land around Dublin, known as "the ...

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