Tag Archives: irish historical fiction

The Daily Bread

Throughout Grace’s life in The Girl in the Shadows series she spends a lot of time baking bread. I thought it might be a nice idea to include a few of the more traditional recipes for the type of bread enjoyed in these times.

My own grandmother made the most delicious currant cakes — soda bread flavoured with a little precious sugar and a handful of currants — in the big black pot as described in the first book.

She gave me the recipe and I made many of these loaves for my family over the years. Alas, I haven’t made any for a long time now so the exact recipe scribbled on a wrinkled and yellowed sheet of paper is lurking somewhere,  no doubtdd14241aa821466cd7b37f2db7a84d3a--traditional-irish-soda-bread-sodas hidden in an old recipe book, and until I find it we will have to make do!

This recipe is very close to the one my grandmother used for many years and which she kindly handed down to me. Why not have a go at making this delicious and simple bread and let me know how you get on!

Thank you Odlums for this wonderful recipe! Traditional Irish Soda Bread

Or if you want the wholemeal version, try the Bord Bia recipe Traditional Brown Soda Breadhoney-on-brown-soda-bread


Or try both!

Don’t forget to comment or post pictures on my Facebook Page


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The Copper Pot

New Exclusive Short Story

(Based on The Girl in the Shadows series)

Grace’s much-loved Granny proved very popular in the series and people kept asking me to write her life story.

Now for the first time ever you can download a free short story – a snapshot – based on Granny Maura’s early life!

Written in the same style as The Girl in the Shadows, The Copper Pot will amuse you much like Grace’s escapades.

The Copper Pot tells the story of Maura’s father making and selling poitin (illegal whiskey) on their small farm in rural Ireland at the beginning of the 1900s.

How do you get your hands on this Exclusive Short Story? Free?

Simply join my group of avid readers to receive your Free Short Story

The Copper Pot

Don’t miss yours!

Sign up here!

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Best Irish Authors – Maeve Binchy

Maeve Binchy was born in Dublin in 1940. She wrote newspaper columns and plays but is probably best known for her wonderfully Irish historical fiction novels and short stories. Her true to life characters portrayed life in Ireland with an often humorous twist.


Among her many wonderful characters my favorite is Benny, the awkward lump of a girl from Circle of Friends. Maeve mentioned that she considered herself to be a lump of a girl and never expected to marry, however she met her future husband Gordon, in London while recording a piece for radio. They married in 1977 and were together until her death in 2012.

circleoffriendscover         circleoffriendsUScover

As a young woman Maeve worked on a kibbutz in Israel and the life she saw and experienced there help to influence her writing. Her parents always believed in her and they sent her letters from Israel to a newspaper where they were published.This was the catalyst for her writing career.

Although I have read many of her short stories, her novels will always have a place in my heart and they have influenced my own writing of The Girl in the Shadows series.

I was very upset when I heard the news of her death. I wondered what I would do without my favorite author but to my delight her publishers have announced that they are going to publish one further collection – A Few of the Girls. In the meantime I will re-read some of the novels listed below.

tararoadcover         tararoadUScover

How many of the following novels have you read?
Light a Penny Candle (1982)
Echoes (1985)
Firefly Summer (1987)
Silver Wedding (1988)
Circle of Friends (1990)
The Copper Beech (1992)
The Glass Lake (1994)
Evening Class (1996)
Tara Road (1998)
Scarlet Feather (2000)
Quentins (2002)
Nights of Rain and Stars (2004)
Whitethorn Woods (2006)
Heart and Soul (2008)
Minding Frankie (2010)
A Week in Winter (2012)

For more info and details of the upcoming collection, “A Few of the Girls” make sure to bookmark the official Maeve Binchy website


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