I’m sitting in my comfortable chair on the hottest of summer days—96 degrees in Orange County—thinking about what I’d like to write that might be meaningful and interesting to someone who may not be familiar with Ireland.
First of all, thank you for picking up my book. Birthright is unusual in that it has two main characters and is written in two points of view, both first and third person. Norah is the woman who gave up her daughter, and Claire is the daughter who was given up.
It’s the story of two women who share a gene pool but are nothing alike, given the differences in the countries they come from and the people who raised them. In case you aren’t familiar with Ireland, I want to assure you that even though the book has its share of darkness, something essential in an Irish story, it has a great many moments of the irrepressible humor that stands out among the Irish people. This humor, told with a sly wink, a dry wit and a point of view that makes the Irish story so familiar, is what captures the authenticity of the characters. So many Irish immigrants now call America their home. They appreciate our weather, our opportunities and the diversity of our people. But, always, in their hearts, Ireland is still the greatest country in the world. Their view is slightly myopic, but it is also true. They have seen both worlds, loving the convenience of one and the culture of the other. Claire is an American. Her mother is an Irish woman, an almost different species. It’s more than a mother-daughter story. Neither can see the viewpoint of the other. Even so, the story ends with a satisfying, although not a Hollywood, ending.