Author: Deirdre Madden.
The fifth book from Irish author Deirdre Madden, One By One In The Darkness (1996), was short-listed for the Orange Prize.
The novel takes place in the then present day (1990’s) and flashes back to the childhood of three sisters: Cate, Helen and Sally during the 1960’s. The book deals with the Troubles in Northern Ireland and the violence that affected both Catholic and Protestant communities.
The passages in the 1960’s show the children as they grow up amid this violence and how they deal with family tensions. There are references towards bombs in Belfast and young boys being taken by the British Army.
The narrative also switches to the present where Cate returns to her childhood home in Northern Ireland from London. This is a common theme among Irish Literature. Cate must come to terms with the reasons for her departure from her childhood home and how the three sisters have grown into individuals.
A realistic depiction of political and religious tensions in Northern Ireland, the book highlights the struggle of growing up amid a prolific and dangerous period in Northern Irish history.