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Peggy has had more than enough. Her daughter, Sally Ann, is floundering in pubescent no-man's-land and making life hell; Patrick has gone to seed, more belly over than under his belt, and Nora, her social-climbing mother-in-law, has given her a bit too much lip. Leaving the exploded bags of groceries scattered on the kitchen floor where she dropped them, Peggy walks out.
Blindly looking for freedom, her naive spontaneity leads her straight into a trap. After a few short days of exciting recklessness, suddenly no-one is laughing any more.
Mick Flannery had been up since the break of dawn. He hated Mondays. For him, every day was a working day, but Mondays were the absolute pits. He flicked on the battered transistor radio he’d attached to the frame of the tractor cab with a piece of wire. Unfortunately, he couldn’t hear much above the wheezings and fartings of the old engine, but every now and then Mick would get snippets of news or the latest hurling results.
He was in a filthy humour. Lismanor had flogged the livin’ daylights out of Kilgrange at the home match the day before and, as one of their most avid supporters, Mick was still suffering the agonies of bitter defeat. He pulled deeply on the cigarette wedged into the corner of his mouth. Those feckers! He couldn’t remember seeing that much foul play in one match since Roscregg swindled their way to victory over Mountquin in the last season. Needless to say, Mountquin had done its own fair share of knacker-bashing and eye-elbowing, but for Mick that was merely bending the rules a tick, not breaking them. Mick cackled to himself. One consolation anyhow, that sheep-shagger, Tony Flynn, would be nursing his balls today, that’s for sure!
He glanced at his watch. Better get a move on if I want to be home for dinner, he thought bleakly, remembering that he had yet to repair the hose leading across the Flaggy Meadow to the trough, check that none of the cows had wandered into the boggy ditch overnight, and stack the pile of used tires at the back of the silage pit. He didn’t want his farm to end up looking like P.J. Lally’s, with the carcasses of gutted vehicles in the corner of every field and empty fertiliser bags floating around in the slurry.
He took another suck on the cigarette, not noticing that he was well into the filter. I hope those new age itinerants--or whatever you call them--haven’t put soap in the cattle trough, he reflected. I’ll set their horse-drawn whoring-nests alight, if they have!
On Friday afternoon he’d been confident Kilgrange would beat the hell out of Lismanor and was in a sanguine frame of mind when the tinker with the German accent had asked if they could park their caravans in his field for a night or two. After the unmitigated cock-up made of the match on Sunday, he’d immediately regretted his philanthropic gesture, and was pretty damn certain he would find a rubbish dump where the Flaggy Meadow used to be.
The tractor puttered past the old water pump on its way to the field, belching in protest whenever Mick tipped the accelerator. He had tuned into an oldies program and every time he slowed at a curve, snatches of Joe Dolan and the Drifters could be heard crackling out over the airways. Straining to see over the hedge as he approached, Mick relaxed somewhat when, through a gap in the hazel bushes, he saw that they had, indeed, left the day before, as promised. I’ll have the Garda up here in a flash, if I find as much as a paper hanky hanging in the bushes, he thought, his neck stretched like a turkey’s in order to get a better look. He steered the tractor in through the small opening to the meadow.
He was almost disappointed to find they’d left the place spick-and-span. The bonfire place had been carefully covered with loose earth and, to his astonishment, the horse droppings removed. He zigzagged across the small field. Not a matchstick, not a chewing gum paper, not even the telltale Kleenex peeping out from under a stone--nothing! Pity, he badly needed something to gripe about. He was just heaving himself up into the tractor cab when he spotted the rusty old Mazda half hidden between the hedge of hazel bushes and a scramble of hawthorn. What the hell...? He couldn’t remember any of them having a car. He got down again and glanced around, half expecting to see someone squatting in the briars, the call of nature having caught them on the hop. In the tangle of greenery surrounding the meadow only the odd chaffinch voiced its presence--there was no one to be seen.
Trisha FitzGerald-Petri was born and grew up in Ireland, though she did spend a few brief years of her childhood life Brazil.
After school, she studied Graphic Design and Visual Communications at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, and worked for a short time as a freelance designer before moving to Germany. After her children were born, she returned to a language school in Ireland to obtain qualifications in TEFL--Teaching English as a Foreign Language. At present, in addition to her freelance activities (English language/cover design), she works as an assistant in the area of business development.
Her first novel, Peggy Does a Runner, was e-published by Puff Adder Books in 2001 and later earned her the title EPPIE 2003 finalist for Best Single Title/Mainstream Novel. Peggy has been re-released as Making Tracks (2006). Further novels include Casting Off (2005).
In addition, Trisha has written a tongue-in-cheek article for Scribesworld, and assisted in the translation of a book of poetry called The Blue Flowered Sofa. She has also completed a fourth novel, There and Back, and is presently working on a fifth.
Trisha’s daughters, Jenny and Nadia, are now in their twenties and she lives with her partner in a small Bavarian village.
Casting Off is a true nautical adventure. I could feel Meg’s dawning horror, her sense of helplessness at grappling with unfamiliar equipment, as well as her stubborn determination to get out of this alive. I treasured the fact that, unlike in most romances, her motive was not track down a man, but to find herself. The sea leaves a sailor precious few self-delusions.
Ms. FitzGerald-Petri has written a compelling novel, by turns humorous, frightening, and touching as Meg and Connor find themselves-and each other. I’ll warn you now, you’ll wipe a lot of salt spray out of your hair! However, if you’re willing to learn a bit about yachts, sail along with Meg on a voyage of self-discovery. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. -- Jeanette Cottrell, Reviewer, eBook Reviews Weekly, http://www.ebook-reviews.net/, Author of At Risk of Being a Fool, http://www.jeanettecottrell.com/
Writer Trisha FitzGerald Petri has produced a festive, fast paced read on the pages of Casting Off. Megan Barry is not the characteristic fanciful heroine, she is however a very acceptable, and agreeable personality. In an eruption of witticism and style FitzGerald Petri paints a keenly focused anecdote filled with excellently masterminded settings, quick-witted plausible characters and exceptional conversation all set against an environment of sea and tumult in this rollicking tale
An excellent choice for the home pleasure reading shelf, high school library and those who like a good adventure with a bit of romance thrown in for good measure Casting Off is a delightful read for a long summery afternoon or an autumn evening spent reading and sipping cocoa. - Entertaining Read…. Recommended…. 4 stars, Reviewed by: Molly Martin, http://www.angelfire.com/ok4/mollymartin, http://www.AuthorsDen.com/mjhollingshead
“Peggy Does A Runner” (renamed Making Tracks) EPPIE Finalist 2003 - for Best Single Title/Mainstream Novel
Making Tracks: “Ms FitzGerald-Petri is definitely a talent in the humor department, and her skill in the use of dialect and description gives one a keen sense of living in a seaside village and traveling the rural byways of Ireland. For as much as Anne Tyler’s Ladder of Years is a serious portrayal of a woman who bolts from her husband and family, Making Tracks (Peggy Does a Runner) is guaranteed to have you in stitches. That is not to say this story is not without serious issues that arise while the main characters discover what is most important in life and that things aren’t always as they seem. Ms. FitzGerald-Petri’s characters leap from the written page... For anyone who's ever wanted to "do a runner" herself and experience numerous laughs to boot, I can't recommend Peggy Does a Runner highly enough! I rate it: ROFLMAO!! (In other words, absolutely hilarious!)” -- Jeanne Allen, KnowBetter.com
Making Tracks (Peggy Does A Runner): “This well-written novel is a delightful mix of true-life, fanciful imagination, realism, laughter, tears, and suspense--yes, plenty of suspense. Without ever being preachy and didactic, this novel holds the mirror to the lives lived by many, if not most, women. And that mirror shows the good as well as the less-than-lovable side of womens’ lives. I’ll go so far as to predict that no woman with a loving, but less than charismatic husband, with at-times bratty teen(s), and a life that seems all too cut and dried, will fail to find a smile and perhaps even a teardrop in these pages. There’s a little Peggy in all of us--thank goodness!” -- Jean Goldstrom, eBookFanfare
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 325
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