The Dawning of the Day by Liam Nevin | Historical Novel

The Dawning of the Day by Liam Nevin | Historical Novel

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The Dawning of the Day by Liam Nevin

– a sweeping epic set against the backdrop of a turbulent decade in Irish history –

Front cover of The Dawning of the Day by Liam Nevin depicting a scene of from Dublin's O'Connell Street in the immediate aftermath of the Easter Rising of 1916
A colourised photograph of Dublin’s O’Connell Street, in the aftermath of the Easter Rising of 1916, adorns the cover of The Dawning of the Day by Liam Nevin

An historical novel comprising a sweeping epic of interweaving tales, following the fortunes of three families, their trials and tribulations, their lives and loves, set against the backdrop of a turbulent decade in Irish history and one of great upheaval the world over. This is the latest offering from Kildare-born author, Liam Nevin.

The Brennans (John, Mary and their children) are a working-class family living in Dublin’s inner city. In 1915, John enlists in the British Army. Sent to fight on the western front, he witnesses, experiences and endures the horrors of war first hand.

In nearby rural County Kildare (but almost a world away), Brian Byrne, a farm labourer also with a young family, works at ‘the big house’ owned by Major O’Kelly, a landowner of the Ascendancy class and veteran of the Boer War.

In 1912, Bill Byrne (Brian’s brother) joins the Dublin Metropolitan Police and moves to the city. Events that are about to unfold will change everything.

The genesis of this book, Liam recalls, lies in a story that his mother used to relate to him as a young boy, of a soldier being fatally wounded in a field that they would pass on their Sunday walk. The incident occurred during Ireland’s civil war (1922-23) and it stoked an interest in him that he would often return to.

I never remembered being taught much about that time when I was at school in the sixties. It was probably too painful or too embarrassing for those who lived through it. Most history books went only as far as the Anglo-Irish War, when Ireland had ‘won her freedom’. I remember the enmity that existed between neighbours when I was growing up in the fifties and sixties. I struggled to understand why some families were for and others against the Treaty of 1921. My research would lead me to the answer.

Liam Nevin, from the Foreword to The Dawning of the Day

The 1913 Lockout, the Great War, the Easter Rising of 1916, the Irish War of Independence and subsequent civil war all come within the scope of this narrative. Faithful attention to historical detail adds to the drama. However, it is the impact of these events on the human level, the individual and interpersonal tales that offer up a rich seam of storytelling.

The Dawning of the Day by Liam Nevin is published under the imprint of The Manuscript Publisher and available to buy online, in print and e-book editions. RRP €14.95 plus P&P.

Liam Nevin is the previously published author of The Tobacco Fields of Meath (2010) and Brightening Over Dillon’s (2016), also available to buy online, in print and e-book editions.

Podcast: Liam Nevin talks to Teresa Quinn of Bookline on Liffey Sound FM

Special Readers Offer: Download for free a copy of the e-book edition on Smashwords. Just use the coupon code CN72T at the checkout to avail. This offer expires on 31 January 2023.

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