Trouble the Living
From Northern Ireland to Southern California and back—a mother and daughter confront the violence of the past in an enthralling novel about the possibility of love and redemption during the most transforming and unsettled times.
It’s the final years of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and Bríd and her sister, Ina, try to maintain a stable life in a divided country. Pushed by her mother’s fanaticism and a family tragedy, Bríd joins the IRA and makes a devastating choice. Frightened and guilt ridden, she flees, leaving behind Ireland and her family for America.
Years later, her guilt and tragic history still buried, Bríd is an overprotective mother raising her sensitive daughter, Bernie, in Southern California. Growing up amid a different kind of social unrest, Bernie’s need for independence and her exploration of her sexuality drive a wedge into their already-fragile relationship. When mother and daughter are forced to return to Northern Ireland, they both must confront the past, the present, and the women they’ve become.
As they navigate their troubled legacies, mother and daughter untangle the threads of love, violence, and secrets that formed them—and that will stubbornly, beautifully, bind them forever.