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My Cousin Justin by Margaret Barrington

My Cousin Justin

by Margaret Barrington

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Anne-Louise "Loulie" Delahaie grows up in Donegal, granddaughter of a prosperous Huguenot linen manufacturer. She grows into adulthood just as WW1 erupts and, of course, the troubles and the irish civil war. Although Loulie aren't the "regular" Protestants, and have more sympathy with the Catholic Irish, the family they are, nonetheless Protestant and thus apart. The story alternates between her own life, childhood, schooling, work, marriage, and the political events. Always, her cousin, Justin, who was also brought up in the grandfather's house, was her closest friend. In their teens they are separated to go to school, acquire polish, etc. Justin fights in the war, is not involved in any of the Irish troubles, Loulie works in Dublin for a newspaper and marries a childhood love, Egan O'Doherty. At times it is lyrical, at others a bit awkward, but overall a worthwhile read for the place and the time. Justin to Loulie later on, "Wherever we go, we are lone wolves, outcasts. In England because we are Irish. The English hunt in a close pack. Here in Ireleand because we do not belong to the people. We are thrown out by both sides." ***1/2 ( )
  sibyx | Jan 3, 2017 |
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