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Ger Burke grew up in Tuam Co Galway. Having lived for some time in London and later Boston she returned to live in Co Mayo. My Father’s Lands was started in Holyoke College, Massachusetts and finished on the shores of Galway Bay. She is a former correspondent for North West Radio and until recently a teacher of English and History. She has had many literary successes, both in print and radio, since becoming a full-time writer.

My Father’s Lands is a searing love story and a poignant insight into the last stand of the old Gaelic world against English supremacy prior to the Ulster Plantation. The treaty of Surrender and re-grant made by Henry VIII with the Irish chieftains, by which they surrendered their lands to the Crown and were re-granted them under English law, started a progression that would change Ireland from an assortment of independent chiefdoms into England’s first colony.

The story opens as ten-year-old Rory Maguire and his eleven-year-old brother Matthew watch the investiture of their uncle Eoin, under Irish law, as chief of the Ulster lands of Glenone. Eoin has killed their father, in a war of succession. Matthew was then heir to the lands under English law. The boys, little realising the depth of their uncle’s animosity towards them, obey a command to attend his victory feast that evening …..

Rory gets an opportunity to escape the menace of his uncle when Sir Walter Carew, an army general in Queen Elizabeth’s army, whose aim in life is to civilise the Irish, takes him to his home in Kent. There and at the court of Queen Elizabeth he becomes removed from the clan warfare represented by his uncle and more attracted to political expediency. When he returns to Ireland, he finds it difficult to maintain his integrity as a servant of the crown and an heir apparent. When war erupts between Ireland and England, he has to decide where his allegiance lies.

Further complicating his choice is his childhood friend, Finola O’Hanlon. Destiny had forced them apart but their lives had remained interwoven. In the court of King Philip II of Spain she petitions the king for Spanish aid for the Irish cause. Separately, as they build their lives, Finola and Rory find unsatisfying love, until their renewed friendship ripens into passion.

This saga set between Ireland, England and Spain weaves an unforgettable tapestry of passion, divided loyalty, betrayal and courage.

“A novel that compels you to anger, ferocious passion and what it truly means to be Irish ... the art and craft of story-telling at its absolute best.”

                     Ken Bruen, author The Guards

“... successfully draws us back in time to one of the most defining moments of Irish history ... themes are contemporary: love, loyalty and the quest to find where one belongs.”

                                                   The Irish World, London

My Father’s Lands by Ger Burke

RRP €14.00  ISBN 9781907017018

My Father's Lands