Andy Crossen wrote –
I read this first novel by John O’Neill in a single afternoon sitting. It is the gripping story of the lives of three Irish children as they progress to adulthood and their struggles to come to terms with themselves and the events that they experience, sometimes with each other, sometimes not. As implied, their paths cross at times throughout the book. Mr O’Neill has a particular skill in writing dialogue that impresses so much, that I felt as I read that I was hearing the conversations rather than reading them. I would highly recommend this book to anyone.
I wrote in my latest blog note – COC new price – that the book might explain to a younger generation those characteristics of their parents and grandparents that amuse, annoy or puzzle them. It’s the Generation Gap, boys and girls but with a twist. It is inevitable universally but more powerful and sometimes destructive in a changed environment. My father’s generation, born in Ireland of the 1890s, lived a very similar lifestyle to that of his father at least until the wider availability of the petrol engine in Ireland of the 1950s. Mechanisation and travel did not leap forward in the first 60 years of my father’s life. Life and community was still local. Life’s necessities were produced nearby. News came from the daily newspaper or from the mouth of the occasional intrepid traveler whose information was entertaining but irrelevant.
The gap increases with change. This may be because of technological or social revolution as in generations who continue to live in the same place but very different conditions. I am more concerned by the greater chasm which opens because of emigration. When children of the diaspora grow up to see the Irishness of their parents after many years in a new country it is inexplicable to them. They need to share. At times of trauma such as in their illness or particularly in death the children feel the need to know what made their families different, to understand the tensions, to forgive the misunderstandings and find reconciliation.
It is my hope that Children of the Cromlech will explain one to the other in the particular lives of those I have chosen to narrate and, less seriously, entertain others with a good yarn.
I have finally got a reprint of the Children of the Cromlech specifically to avail of letter rate postage to overseas. The previous prints were on Munken paper, soft and beautiful, but quite bulky with the result that many of my books were too thick for letter-rate and went parcel at four times the cost. Not a good look. I now have the book on laser paper, white, shiny and THIN. A further advantage is that it fits an A5 post-bag neatly. Pity about the Munken.
As a result, the price of Children of the Cromlech can now be reduced from NZ$ 24.95 to 19.95 (Eur 12.95, US$15.95) including postage and we are all HAPPY.
If you would like to understand the difficulties your father and mother or your grandparents might have struggled against in the Ireland of the 1930 – 1950s, do read it.
Contact me, the author, printer, binder, shipping clerk, accounts, marketing guru etc etc at
40 Marshall Road