Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction, Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel, Post Colonial Asian Fiction, The Legacy of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and quality Historical Novels are Among my Interests

Sunday, March 17, 2013

"The Irish Girls Are Back in Town" by Suzanne Higgins

"The Irish Girls Are Back in Town" by Suzanne Higgins  (2004, 25 pages)

Year III
March 1 to March 31
Happy St. Patrick's Day
Suzanne Higgins

Event Resources-links to lots of Irish short stories-from classics to those written in 2013.  Please contact me if you have any questions about how to participate or any suggestions.

I have been reading the short stories in Irish Girls Are Back In Town (I find it odd there is no name given as the editor of the collection).   On Amazon the publisher's description says the stories are "Irish Chick Lit".   Exactly what this offensive term means I will leave to others to ponder.  I am finding the stories very good and their authors are on the Irish and in many cases international best sellers list.   

 "The Irish Girls Are Back in Town" by Suzanne Higgins is a first rate story, the best one so far in the collection and certainly not something to be dismissed as "chick lit".    It is a first rate very moving story.   

As the story opens Tilly, twenty-one and living in Dublin is getting reading to make her every other Sunday visit to her Grandmother who lives in a retirement home.   Visiting the grandmother is an emotional chore as she sometimes only half knows who she is and the retirement home is a depressing place.   Her father made her an offer she could not refuse, visit your grandmother every other Sunday and he will pay for her to have her own apartment.    Her father has been a widower for a fifteen years.  Tilly has a boyfriend she loves and who seems to love her.  One her regular visit to the home a nurse warns her that her grandmother is drifting more into dementia.   On this visit she at first thinks her granddaughter is her own daughter, the mother of Tilly, dead for 15 years.  The grandmother talks about her now dead husband.   She begins to tell Tilly the story of the great love of her life, but to Tilly's amazement it is not her grandfather but a man named "Charlie", Tilly's boyfriend's name.    It was a British soldier she met while working as a nurse during WWII.   When the man first saw the grandmother and her also Irish nurse friend he said "The Irish girls are back in town".   The grandmother then tells of a very moving love story, the only problem is she is already married to Tilly's grandfather who is away at the war, though he does get a lot of leaves.   

Tilly is convinced the story is a pure delusion.   She has given the man's name and that he lost a leg during a combat flight, he was a wing commander.   Compressing a bit, she tells her boyfriend the story.  The grandmother dies.    The boyfriend says if the one legged man is real and still alive he will find him.  Telling maybe too much as I hope people will find away to read this story, he does find him and they go to his house, after Tilly writes him to get permission.   The ending is romantic, cynics will say too romantic, but I really liked it and I think most readers will.   

Suzanne Higgins was a national radio DJ and TV presenter in Ireland. She switched to writing as the children started to arrive. She now has five beautiful children and is writing her fifth novel. Suzanne has reached #1 in the Irish best sellers list where her books were published. They have also been published in Germany. In the summer of 2009 she and her husband relocated the family to Boston for business reasons. That is why she started this blog. She finds comparing life on either side of the Atlantic both amusing and intriguing, funny and heart wrenching. 

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