Book Review: Easter Widows

Photo Credit: Sinead McCoole


KPhotocredit:Sinéad McCoole

Sinéad McCoole  is an Irish historian, author, broadcaster, scriptwriter, historical and picture researcher and exhibition curator. As a Curator, she has originated and collaborated on a number of important exhibitions both in Ireland and the US. Her areas of expertise include The Rising, the War of Independence, and Civil War most especially with an emphasis on the role of women.

Sinéad novel Easter widows is insightful and it gives a pictorial representation through fiction of the wives of the men who fought for the independence of Ireland from the British. Published in 2015, the book justifies the actions of these courageous men as it illustrates the level of patriotism showed by each man despite their difficulties in life and how each wife supported their husband’s decision even when the ultimate price had to be paid.

Easter widows tells the true-life story of the leaders of the Easter rising giving a descriptive account of how the Irish independence was fought for and the sacrifices made by each family just for this cause. Easter widows narrates to a teeth the lives of Kathleen Daly and Thomas Clarke ,Maud Gonne and Major John McBride (who later separated), Lillie Reynolds and James Connolly, Frances O’Brenan and Edward Kent (who changed their names to Aine and Eamonn Ceannt), Agnes Hickey and Micheal Mallin, Grace Gifford and Joseph Plunkett (who were married for not up to one day) and finally Muriel Gifford and Thomas McDonagh.

The women of the rising were courageous and extremely brave. They supported their husbands until their last breath and taught their children on the importance of Irish independence. Apart from the women listed above Sinead notes that apart from these seven women, women from the nationalist group Inghinidhe na hEireann (Daughters of Ireland) played an important role during the rising.This book celebrates the role of women and their strength during the rising. The women were willing to continue to fight for what their husbands believed in even until after the death of their husbands and friends, they created support systems for families who lost their husbands during the rebellion.


Photocredit:Sinéad McCoole

Sinéad writes in detail the stories of the each family illustrating them through fiction. It explains the reason why each man felt the sense of duty to Ireland and its simplicity engages each reader from the very first stage of the book. This book will make you understand the sacrifices each family had to make; be it for love and especially for the country. And at the end you will appreciate the women more than the men who fought for Ireland because they were EXCEPTIONAL.

Sinéad McCoole are available in bookshops and online .

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