Set in a fictional area of Cork City from 2016-2020, Liberty Terrace captures the highs and lows of everyday life from both before and during the Covid-19 pandemic, prompting readers to consider what it
means to be human and to live within a wider community.
A former solicitor with experience as a Census Enumerator in 2016, Cork native Madeleine D’Arcy took inspiration from the Irish Census originally scheduled in April 2021 but now postponed until 2022 for Liberty Terrace. D’Arcy has created a rich tapestry of stories all set in and around the fictional street; the residents of Liberty Terrace come and go over the years – their lives ebbing and flowing
around each other in ways that are sometimes funny, sometimes dark and often both.
The cast of characters includes retired Garda Superintendent Deckie Google, a young homeless squatter, the mother of an autistic child working part-time as a Census Enumerator, the dysfunctional Callinan family, an ageing rock star, a trio of ladies who visit a faith healer, a philandering husband, as well as a surprising number of cats and dogs.
MADELEINE D’ARCY is an Irish fiction writer. A former solicitor, she lived in the UK for 13 years before returning to live in Cork City with her husband and her son in 1999. Madeleine’s first Doire Press short story collection ‘Waiting for the Bullet’ was awarded the 2015 Edge Hill Readers’ Prize’ from Edge Hill University in Ormskirk. In 2010 she received a Hennessy X.O Literary
Award for First Fiction as well as the overall Hennessy X.O Literary Award for New Irish Writer. Her stories have been short-listed and commended in many competitions, including the William Trevor/Elizabeth Bowen Short Story
Competition, Fish Short Story Prize, the Bridport Prize and the Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Competition. Madeleine has been awarded bursaries by the Arts
Council of Ireland and by Cork City Council. Madeleine was a scholarship
student on the inaugural MA in Creative Writing 2013-2014 in University College Cork. Waiting for the Bullet is Madeleine’s first collection of short stories.
My thoughts: this was a clever and moving collection of stories about moments in the lives of the residents of Liberty Terrace, a fictional street in Cork. Each story focuses on one household and their lives. From a family of immigrants still finding their feet at the beginning of lockdown, to older residents trying to help their lonely friend. Each story reminds you of the kindness and community that can be found around you.
Well written and very enjoyable, I loved seeing into these characters lives, even if only briefly, the glimpses of families, both born and built, the generosity of others, the ways in which we all live quietly alongside each other but every now and then connect.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.