By Kim O'Leary
Newbridge based author Orla McAlinden will launch her new Irish Famine inspired novel "The Flight of the Wren" at Woodbine Books in Kilcullen at 6.30pm this evening.
Orla McAlinden is originally from Portadown in Co Armagh and she moved to Newbridge 16 years ago in 2002, and her work is inspired by Ireland’s complex and difficult history.
"The Flight of the Wren" follows the gripping journey of 14-year-old Famine survivor Sally Mahon as she encounters the wrens of the Curragh in Newbridge, Co Kildare, while in 1919 in Australia Saoirse Gordon is tending to her gravely ill grandmother.
Inspired by true events, tales of real Irish women and girls are woven throughout this poignant blend of fact and fiction. Acts of desperation, betrayal, courage and love illuminate the one of the darker dark chapter of Ireland's history during the devastating Famine to provide a complex and beautiful debut.
Speaking about the inspiration behind her debut novel, Orla explained: “I was inspired to write ‘The Flight of the Wren’ after first hearing about the wrens, a group of women who survived the Great Famine and lived on the Curragh, with many of them forced into prostitution. I heard a few locals mention it and that they lived on the Currgah, and I would drive past the Curragh a lot bringing the kids to school and I started to do a bit of research about the wrens, talking to locals and checking libraries to find out more about these women. It’s a bit mad because there are people who know nothing about the Curragh wrens and then there are people who know everything about them, and I thought that it was a fascinating, very interesting story.”
Orla will launch “The Flight of The Wren” with refreshments being served this evening in Woodbine Books, Lower Main Street, Kilcullen, from 6.30-7.45 pm. “The Flight of The Wren” is published by Mentor Press and costs €14.99.
For more information visit https://orlamcalinden.com/
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