Violent Shadows

violentHeadline Review 1996

A timely exploration of the nature of history and identity

It is the year of the Hunger Strike when Tara arrives in Mullinamore. Cut off by mountains and blocked border roads, it is a forgotten place, sparsely populated and remote. Though she grew up in England, Tara’s family roots in the valley span centuries and she is steeped in the land and its stories.

Meanwhile Felix, a descendant of the Anglo-Irish landowners, has come back to the Lake House to write his family’s history. Through the half-derelict rooms around him flit strangers, lovers and ghosts, each with their own pressing claims on Ireland’s past. When Tara meets Felix, then uncovers a family secret, the entanglements of the past erupt into the present in dangerous and unexpected ways.

‘…An intense exploration of the Troubles…The violence is undiluted, creating an intense and at times almost psychotic novel.’
The Guardian

‘Urch conveys the characters’ points of view and the political background with intelligence and subtlety.’
The Times

photo © Chris Purnell
photo © Chris Purnell

‘The tension between the heroine’s Anglo and Irish sympathies is drawn engagingly.’
Sunday Telegraph

‘It was Karl Marx who voiced the truism – history hangs like a nightmare on the minds of the living. This is the stuff that nightmares are made of. Marion Urch is a powerful talent.’
Peter Berresford Ellis

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