Part III. The book is live: October Five!
An Unfamiliar Kindness was launched earlier today, 5 October 2018!
Here’s what it’s all about:
When the Second Wave Feminism crosses paths with the Troubles . . .
Mistaking gratitude for love comes at a price.
In 1971, Oxford student Emilee Stephens marches with the just-formed Women’s Liberation Movement. She meets Connor O’Hannigan, an intriguing sympathizer who harbors more secrets than the reason he’s at the march.
Despite her friends’ repeated warnings—and even hints that he may be in the IRA—Emilee falls for Connor when he saves her life in a kayaking accident.
The two marry and have a daughter, Caitlynn Aine. On the child’s third birthday, daughter and father disappear, leaving only an abandoned car and a small red jacket behind.
Decades pass—until Emilee receives a letter from her presumed-dead former husband.
An Unfamiliar Kindness asks an unanswerable question: How much does love cost?
An Unfamiliar Kindness is 20th-century historical fiction and uses the 1970s Women’s Liberation Movement which kicked off in London and The Troubles in Northern Ireland during the same period as a backdrop.
Here’s a taste from chapter 11, when Emilee meets Connor O’Hannigan . . .
The London March. 6 March 1971.
They came by train, bus, car, and on foot—droves of them—women from all over England, for the National Women’s Liberation Movement march. They aggregated at Hyde Park Corner, a pulsing, buzzing, throng of bodies sprouting as the minutes passed.
Then, as if prearranged, the procession moved when the first snowflakes sifted down. Feeding off each other, the March took on a life all its own. It throbbed and ebbed as it wormed its way toward Trafalgar Square. The snow became a benediction, an unending veil, draped over their heads and shoulders as they forged ahead.
Emilee and Tracy, along with dozens of supporters, had left Oxford Station at 5:30 in the morning. Fortunately, Tracy, at that stage the more practical one, had had the presence of mind to listen to the weather report and made Emilee turn back for a larger shoulder bag to house something warm for the cold: gloves, a cap, something to eat, and an overcoat for if it snowed, just as the weatherperson had predicted for London. In Oxford, the sky was sullen and heavy, the temperature hovering around zero when they boarded.
It was as if the humming of the city had ceased. All that existed was them, the marchers. Snow dampened sound.
The two friends marched alongside each other, shoulder-to-shoulder, faces upturned, celebrating and defying the snowflakes that floated like confetti as they followed the flock through the streets of London. Emilee noticed the different attires of her fellow females under their overcoats . . .
Emilee frowned when a man dressed in a tailored tweed jacket appeared out of nowhere, right at their side, and took part in the stomping and waving of arms. He glanced at her once and nodded with a grin before paying attention to what was said in the front.
She touched Tracy’s arm to draw her attention to the new supporter—a male, of all things. She was surprised by the degree of annoyance she felt. He simply has no right to be here. No right to share these moments—it belongs to us.
Tracy laughed at her friend’s displeasure as Emilee hissed, “I’m certain he’s gay. What else has he lost here?”
To which the young man immediately replied. “Gay I’m not, Miss. I’m always fascinated by people who dare to stand for something worthwhile, something morally defensible.”
He put out a hand. “Connor. Connor O’Hannigan, at your service, ma’am.” He bowed his head in their direction.
Emilee snorted but took his hand. He had long, slim fingers. His eyes held hers with a sudden intensity. She stammered. “Emilee . . . Stephens . . . And this is my friend . . . Tracy Russell.”
He touched the rim of his wool cap, which was pulled halfway down to his eyes, with a matching scarf wrapped around his neck. “Miss Stephens, Miss Russell—the pleasure is mine . . .”
An Unfamiliar Kindness is available as an eBook and paperback. An audiobook format will follow.
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