These are indeed exciting times for Ireland's newest novelist, Antoinette Tyrrell who is just about to have her her debut offering, 'Home to Cavendish' published by Poolbeg Press. A native of Edenderry, Antoinette is a member of a well known local family, whose mother, Bridget Tyrrell has just stepped away from her role as Secretary to the Boys National School in Edenderry, where she worked for many years.
Antoinette's family were deeply involved in community life in Edenderry and for many years, her uncle, John Quinlan was a member of Edenderry Town Council. While she herself is domiciled across the county border in Broadford in Kildare, Antoinette is so proud of her Offaly roots that she approached Midland Books in High Street, Tullamore to host the book launch and so on Thursday next, February 7, the fledgling Offaly novelist will see her first work launched at a local venue.
Now working in the field of public relations, where she is employed as a Communications and Event Manager for a semi-state organisation, Antoinette previously worked in journalism and spent some time with Midlands 103 in the early years of the new millennium.
'Home to Cavenish' was a big challenge for the aspiring writer but once Antoinette got Poolbeg Press on board, she was thrilled to be offered a three book deal. The debut novel safely put to bed, Antoinette has been very busy writing her second novel and a final draft should be with the editors shortly.
'Home to Cavendish' brings an exciting twist to big house fiction from this fresh, new voice in women’s writing. Set against the backdrop of an Anglo-Irish house in Cork it charts the stories of two of the house’s female inhabitants and how they shape its legacy through the turbulence of the Irish Civil War and the excess and corruption of the Celtic Tiger years.
The two female leads, in the form of Lady Edith Cavendish in 1922 and Elenore Stack in 2002, powerfully bring to life two tumultuous periods in Ireland’s recent history where the actions of a privileged few impacted the lives of the generations that followed.
Commenting on her inspiration for the book, Antoinette told the Offaly Independent, that “Ireland’s big houses have always held a fascination for me. These tiny, island states, had at one point in our history, the power to employ or not, feed or starve, house or evict entire communities.
“Outside of where they sit in our history, it is their human stories that appeal. Lords and ladies, housemaids, butlers, stable-boys and gillies; secret doors, leading to hidden passage-ways where dark deeds play out unnoticed. That is what inspired me to write 'Home to Cavendish' and to take it one step beyond historical fiction, charting the fate of these houses during the recent Celtic Tiger years through the stories of two strong, female leads”.
'Home to Cavendish' will be launched in Midland Books, High Street, Tullamore on Thursday, February 7 at 8pm, with Antoinette hoping to meet up with old friends and colleagues at the start of an exciting new chapter in her career.