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Trisha Fitz-Gerald- Petri
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Growing up and growing old. These two side effects of life creep up on Finnula ‘Fudge’ Ginnane and her mother, Mary, simultaneously, yet while the young country girl is helped through this confusing time by her best friend, Lilly McDermott, the older woman must face advancing age and the heartache of a forbidden relationship alone.
This tragicomic tale spins a web of unexpected love, rejection, discovery, loss and finally, hope.
There was a great clatter of clinking cups and cutlery scraping plates. A hundred girls in a sea of uniform blue chattered like machine guns in a cartridge-emptying frenzy. Halloween was approaching and with it escape from boarding school routine. At home, mothers were baking Barmbracks with rings in them and fathers were getting whacked over the knuckles with wooden spoons for wanting to pinch a slice too early. In the kitchen cupboards, bags of peanuts, hazelnuts, walnuts and those funny wrinkly Brazil nuts were waiting to be filled into bowls and placed before a crackling open fire. If you were lucky, you might lay your hands on a coconut, and even though it was probably mass cultivated on a plantation, one liked to think that a little fuzzy-haired, brown-skinned boy in a scrap of a loin cloth had shinnied up a palm tree to pick it.
In sewing class at National Schools around the country, young girls were making ghost costumes, their tongues stuck out in concentration as they toiled, while the lads huddled together hatching plans for trick or treat, genuinely hoping there’d be no treats so they might get up to all kinds of tricks. By teetering precariously on ladders, the last shiny apples were being plucked from trees and safely stored away in pantries, in the hope that a few might remain for Halloween games and pastry tarts. Logs of wood, crates, broken chairs and threadbare tires, in fact anything that would burn, were piled into heaps on fair greens countrywide for those big smelly bonfires everyone loved. Last year’s spooky lanterns were brought down from attics to light up the wet and windy evenings which lay ahead. The summer gone, young and old alike craved the festivities and fun, all desperate for a stepping-stone to Christmas. In the boarders’ homes, children’s bedrooms, empty since the end of the summer holidays, were aired and dusted; beds were covered with crisp clean sheets, pillows puffed up and positioned.
There was excitement in the air, and the house staff felt it, too. Mrs. Oldfield’s glance swept around the room, the exceeding of a certain decibel level warranting admonishment, though today she let it go, caught up in the atmosphere herself. It will be nice to have the place to ourselves for a while, she pondered. Get the floors polished and the tiles properly scrubbed.
Yet again, they’d have to bamboozle the local dry cleaners out of a box of wire hangers in order to repair all the bed springs. That was no problem, however; Carty’s Corner Cleaners had always been very accommodating in the past. She would send Bertie Barrett to deal with it as soon as he’d finished raking the leaves. It was a battle every autumn trying to keep the driveway clear, but was worth it. The Castleglen park boasted the most beautiful and varied abundance of indigenous trees in the area. She smiled smugly to herself and popped another fork of macaroni cheese into her mouth before turning to Miss Gibbons, who was busy expostulating on the hazards of co-education.
A few tables away Fudge and Lilly were deep in conversation.
“Why don’t you come down to Birch Rise for your birthday?” Fudge asked. They were guzzling down the selfsame macaroni cheese, struggling with the long strings of gooey
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: 396
Paper Weight (lb): 16.6
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