Saturday, August 23, 2014

Before The Fall by Orna Ross

eBook: 416 KB, Paperback has 231 pages.
Genre: Historical Fiction.
Publisher:  Font Publications (27 February 2012).
Source: The author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.
First Sentence: Here comes Useless John skulking up the road.
Review Quote:  SUNDAY INDEPENDENT: "A highly ambitious, engaging and evocative novel and a hauntingly captivating read."
My Opinion: Love and grief intertwined with mystery.

It worked well reading this immediately after finishing 'After The Rising' 'After the Rising' as it follows on with events in Mucknamore seamlessly continuing the modern day (1995) story of Jo Devereux, who is still in Ireland researching into the family history and trying to deal with her feelings for her old love Rory O'Donovan.

As in the first volume of the trilogy the storyline jumps between locations and generations. Continuing the family dramas, though this time concentrating more on the characters of Peg and Norah and what happens to them in the 1920's. Besides being set in Ireland the contemporary part of the story also takes the reader to the USA where AIDS was starting to take a hold when Jo first went to live there in the 1980's. 
As Jo comes to understand exactly what freedom cost the families and how the past has haunted three generations, she realises that once can never truly break free from family.
There is so much love and grief intertwined with mystery, which if you have read the previous volume I do not think you can fail to be moved by. 

Just like the first volume this is written in a flowing expressive style and left me knowing a little more about Irish history. Still looking forward to reading the third title in the trilogy, recommended to fans of historical fiction. 

Author Profile

Orna Ross (Aine McCarthy) was born in Waterford, Ireland but is now living in London. She writes novels, poems, non-fiction and she also blogs about creative writing living. She has a dedicated belief in the power of the published word to transform and liberate. When she's not writing, you'll probably find her reading.

Orna has been published by Attic Press and Penguin, but she now publishes her own work. She is founding author & Director at 'The Alliance of Independent Authors',  for which she has been named "one of the 100 most influential people in publishing" by The Bookseller magazine.

ORNA SAYS: (Reproduced from her Amazon Profile)

"My NOVELS usually take the form of family-based dramas. Often they are historical fiction and usually there's a murder mystery or other buried secret from the past causing chaos in the present. I enjoy writing emotional twists and surprises around big themes -- identity, family loyalty, truth, sex and death, the struggle between freedom and belonging.

My POEMS are simple and accessible and tend towards the inspirational. I think everyone should read a poem a day (keep a poetry book in the bathroom is my advice).

My NONFICTION is about applying the creative process to everything in life. We've all been educated to neglect our creative capacities -- a big mistake, as the Creative Age overtakes the Information Age. Thankfully, like any other muscle, creative ability is strengthened by being flexed and used. The 'Go Creative!' books show how to become more creative.

ORNA'S INSPIRATIONS: (Reproduced from her Amazon Profile)

1: HISTORY: I agree with Mr Hartley that the past is, indeed, another country and it's my favourite place to travel -- reading and writing historical fiction is my favourite thing to do. I'm especially drawn to bohemian times and places where shackles are thrown off and creativity flourishes -- fin de siecle Paris (1890s); literary revival and revolutionary Ireland (1910/20s); hippy (1960s) and gay lib (1980s) San Francisco...

2: GENDER: I write the kind of women's fiction that explores what it is to be a woman, in various times and places. But I think both men and women have feminine and masculine dimensions. We are all seeded by man and born of woman and we all carry 'male' and 'female' characteristics. How these play out, in an individual life and in different societies, is endlessly fascinating to me.

3: IRELAND: I don't only write about Ireland but it is a strong influence. Because so many millions have emigrated from there, its stories reach beyond its own shores. There is always a particular flavour to Irish writing and readers tell me they experience in my books too.

4: THE SEA: Everything I really needed to know, I could have learned by watching the waves.

5: THE SPACE BETWEEN THE WORDS. About which the less said, the better.

How Orna got her writing name and more interesting biographical details can be found in the about me section on her website.

The biographical information and photo used in this post are with thanks to the following websites, where you can also find more information about the author and her writing.

Author Goodreads Profile   Orna Ross - Twitter Profile    Amazon Author Page - Orna Ross

Orna Ross - Official Author Website   Orna Ross - Google Plus


  1. Nice blog here! Additionally your web site so much up very fast! What web host are you using? Can I am getting your affiliate hyperlink to your host? I wish my web site loaded up as fast as yours lol
    Cardsharing Server

    1. The above comment is spam, so please do not follow the link! Zunaira please do not leave spam comments, will delete in future. :(

  2. Sounds an interesting trilogy. I have just finished the trilogy, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
    by Stieg Larsson. It is a crime novel but neither of us could put it down, we both rated it 5*. have a great day Diane

    1. I am not sure how this trilogy would compare to the Stieg Larrson ones as I have not read them, David did though and he thoroughly enjoyed them as well.

  3. I just stop by to let you know I love your page and I had a good time reading it. I’m glad that my friend emailed me the link to this blog. I just bookmarked this blog and I hope your next one is going to be about the same topic again I’m looking for ward to it. One thing I want to add is I like your writting style.
    Cardsharing Server

  4. This sounds like a good read, I think I would need to start at the beginning as I have fell into so many books mid way through and feel you do enjoy it more if you get introduced to the story and characters from the first book.

    Definitely one to look out for, first time hearing about this author too.



I indulge my love of books with this blog and it makes it all worthwhile when you leave comments. I really am interested in what you think so do let me know. I have decided as the nature of this review blog makes for conversation in the comments, just to reply here and not individually, so please subscribe to comments or call back again to stay in the conversation. Thankyou for your continued support.