CLAIRE MCGREAL traces the trajectory of an Irish Australian story.

Oct 25 2010
CLAIRE MCGREAL traces the trajectory of an Irish Australian story.

House swap inspires Dublin novel
Posted on 23 October 2010

Irish inspiration: Graeme and Elsie Johnstone, pictured in Killarney during their Irish adventure that spawned a novel; (Above) the Celine Cawly murder case, which inspired the book, Lover Husband Father Monster: A Novel In Two Voices.

A Melbourne couple’s Dublin house swap has led to a collaborative novel inspired by an infamous Irish crime. Melbourne writers Graeme and Elsie Johnstone last year temporarily swapped the blue skies of Australia for the green foothills of the Dublin Mountains.

This book stayed with me for days!

Oct 20 2010

Wow !!What a wonderful lead into what was to be an extremely haunting finish. THE BOOK STAYED WITH ME FOR DAYS
Having experienced domestic violence I found the book to be reminiscent of the SURROUNDING innocence when one is initially in Love
They say love is blind. What an awakening!
A Very powerful build to the end.
Jan Reynolds, Mount Macedon, VIC

Robert Farquharson - Man or Monster?

Oct 18 2010

On Friday, one of the mums at mothers’ group (I am a grandmother who volunteers to make the teas and coffees and do the fruit) came up to me and said, “I finished the book and I loved it, just couldn’t put it down. I was reading until 2 o’clock in the morning. But how did you come to write about such a dark subject.”
“Well,” I replied, “it happens. People do bad things. Sometimes the children are innocent victims. When we wrote 'Lover Husband Father Monster' we set out to get inside a marriage that ends in tragedy and to trace its decline from love and harmony to hate and vengeance. “

An Irish analogy?

Oct 15 2010

Make no mistake about it, Lover Husband Father Monster tackles a dark subject in one of the darker period of Ireland's seemingly ever-unfortunate history.
Drawing on the Irish-psyche and broader socio-economic factors such as the boom then inevitable fall of the economy, the influence of the Catholic and Protestant Churches and the English/Irish dichotomy, the book narrows in on a single relationship between husband and wife, dissecting who is to blame when a tragedy occurs, noticeably much like the Irish state itself.

It's so sad to see both my brothers now living so far away in Australia......

Oct 11 2010

"It is so sad to see both of my brothers now living so far away in Australia. However,with little or no work here and the amount of tax we now have to pay, here is unthinkable. Everyone is just waiting to see what else the Goverment can throw at us. I will keep the saving fund on the go and hope in a few years we will all get down to see where they live."
(Jennifer MacNamee, Rathfarnham, Dublin)

Forget-me-nots remind me of my Irish friends

Oct 10 2010
Forget-me-nots remind me of my Irish friends

In Australia the footy is over at last, the sun is shining, we do night require heating at night and spring has sprung. Of course we all like to head out to the garden which has been laying neglected for the past three months since autumn and, from there to the nursery to buy seedlings.
The salad vegetables are in the ground, the shrubbery has all been cleaned up and next week we will oil the garden furniture in anticipation of all the BBQ’s and fun times with family and friends we will have around the pool.

What a difference a day makes!

Oct 8 2010

Hey, just when you think the business of publishing a book is getting you down, suddenly the grey clouds part and the sparkly rainbow appears.
We have been offered a deal with a distributor! This means ‘Lover Husband Father Monster’ will be available through the established bookstores and retail outlets. There is paper work and sorting out to do, but we are thrilled with this fantastic opportunity from a company that has developed its business over 20 years and now distributes for 125 publishers.

Irish workers head overseas for jobs

Oct 4 2010
Irish workers head overseas for jobs

“When the (Irish) economy became the fastest growing in Europe, the Irish diaspora headed home, to be followed by an influx of workers from countries such as Poland and Lithuania. With the jobless rate now running at 13.6%, for many Irish workers the only option once again is to look abroad.” Henry McDonald, Age Sat October 2, 2010.

The Celine Cawley and Jean Bourke murders got us thinking....

Sep 30 2010
The Celine Cawley and Jean Bourke murders got us thinking....

We have often been asked, ‘How did you choose the topic of murder within a marriage?
For the Irish reader when I say ‘the Celine Cawley case’ you will not need any more information. For you, it was a big story. It created media frenzy. I was told by one young Irish journalist who was working in radio last July when Eamonn Lillis was convicted of the lesser charge of manslaughter, that she interrupted regular programming to go to that news. Public interest was huge. The case captured the Irish imagination.
The Celine Cawley Murder

The Irish Language

Sep 29 2010
The Irish Language

Before we went to Ireland I was familiar with the Irish accent because one of the significant sounds of my childhood was the generic Irish priest who would preach fire and brimstone from the pulpit and scare the hell out of me. One in three Australians has some sort of Irish connection and we recognise that the Irish are responsible for aspects Australian psyche such as the friendly larrikin who has scant regard for authority. I understood that both Australians and Irish speak English. Right? Well it’s not really as simple as that!