Title: 19 Randells Avenue
Author: Jack Byrne
Cover illustration: Seán Curran
Author Portrait: Tony G Murray Photography, Naas
Most inspiration for stories and books come from the author's life and experiences, or through other books that they have read, this isn't the case with Jack Byrne's first book, 19 Randells Avenue. He was inspired by a very vivid dream that he had, unlike most of us who quickly forget the dreams we have, Jack quickly wrote down everything that he could remember about the dream right away. Jack worked on the story for several years and we now have the results of that hard work and most importantly, that very vivid dream. The most striking aspect of the book is the cover, which is a beautiful illustration by the artist Seán Curran. Here at selfpublishbooks.ie we love the cover, however, we faced the challenge on turning a very large, A2 size original painting into the size of a standard soft book cover. Anyone who looks at the cover, will see that they did a great job with it.
This tale revolves around a Dublin working class family - the McDonnells. Following the lives of, mother Chrissie and father Bobby, as they set up home and begin to produce a large family. It's about growing up and coming to terms with adolescence and the reality of life in Dublin. Beginning in the 1950's and ending in early 2000's, when the family have been dispersed well beyond the location of their childhood home.
19 Randells Avenue, the family home, tells us the trials and tribulations of each family member from childbirth to marriage, describing how the heartbroken parents and young siblings come to terms with an early death in the family.
At the heart of the narrative is the deep and meaningful love that exists between Bobby and Chrissie, which dictates family values and created bonds that are strong and enduring. How will Chrissie and Bobby keep the family united through more devastating tragedy, and who is keeping secrets?
About the author
Jack Byrne was born in Dublin in 1967. After growing up in Marino, he started out in the carpet flooring trade, following on from his father William. After spending most of his adult life in Dublin, he now resides in County Kildare.
Descriptive, emotional account of life, ups and downs, murder mystery, love and loss, twists and turns. A literal page turner, hard to leave down with a powerful unexpected twists at the end. Well done, great read.
Christy and Kathryn Dignam - Lead singer of Aslan and his wife
A tremendous story - the momentum increased as it went along and I found my heart thumping on several occasions throughout! It's a very realistic account of Dublin family life in the era and location in which it is set, and comes with the entire associated range of emotions. I thoroughly enjoyed it and loved the twist at the end...
Lorna Boyle, Housewife, Naas