Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Christmas at the Cross


Christmas is not a joyous occasion for everyone. Not at the Cross. Yet hope and humour remain.

Blaithnaid’s relationship with Kieran is not good. She has allies in Nadina the prostitute who soothes her with potatoes and Yoichi a Japanese neighbour who offers tea but only a little sympathy. David a neighbour supplies something approaching a festive Christmas with plum pudding and White Christmas. There is snow, there are Christmas lights and there are friends meeting for drinks. There is violence, there are threats and there is heartache. How will Blaithnaid find her way through all of this?

Christmas at the Cross – a Kings Cross story – is a novella in five parts from Bridge House Publishing. Maeve Murphy creates a compelling text, an authentic voice and a real sense of place.


RRP £7.00 

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“This is a story about women who have had enough. If you have had enough too, this is for you. But regardless, you will be astonished by Maeve's riveting tale.”

Jim Sheridan, screenwriter and director of My Left Foot
This novella is full of jump off the page characters and a gritty view of Kings Cross in the 1980s.  Traumatised by events, Blathnaid’s view of what is happening around her is uniquely delivered by the author through very clever writing.  The reader is given what Blathnaid sees and feels, and stripping out everything else. This approach makes her story feel absolutely real as you are drawn into her fear and confusion. 

There are insights into nineteen eighties London life as well as Blathnaid’s search for a spiritual escape from the grim world she occupies.  But in the main this is a dark story of a young girl living amongst the drug dealers, addicts, prostitutes and the mentally unwell, but somehow able to hold on to her humanity. It’s a thoroughly recommended read.

I found the story telling a page turner. Very interesting description of the life and mutual support of women in Kings Cross during hard times. It will be my Christmas present this year. 

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