Book Review: Through the Barricades by Denise Deegan

January 4, 2017 Book review 9 ★★★★½

2016 is the 100th year anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin so it’s a subject that is very topical in Ireland at this time. And it’s also the subject of Through the Barricades by Denise Deegan. What I loved in particular about this book is that it brought history to life in a meaningful way that reminds you yet again how nothing is ever black and white.

Book Review: Through the Barricades by Denise DeeganThrough the Barricades by Denise Deegan
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform on December 2nd 2016
Genres: Historical Fiction
Format: ARC
Source: Received from Author

She was willing to sacrifice everything for her country. He was willing to sacrifice everything for her.

'Make a difference in the world,' are the last words Maggie Gilligan's father ever says to her. They form a legacy that she carries in her heart, years later when, at the age of fifteen, she tries to better the lives of Dublin's largely forgotten poor.

'Don't go getting distracted, now,' is what Daniel Healy's father says to him after seeing him talking to the same Maggie Gilligan. Daniel is more than distracted. He is intrigued. Never has he met anyone as dismissive, argumentative . . . as downright infuriating.

A dare from Maggie is all it takes. Daniel volunteers at a food kitchen. There, his eyes are opened to the plight of the poor. It is 1913 and Dublin's striking workers have been locked out of their jobs. Their families are going hungry. Daniel and Maggie do what they can. Soon, however, Maggie realises that the only way to make a difference is to take up arms.

The story of Maggie and Daniel is one of friendship, love, war and revolution, of two people prepared to sacrifice their lives: Maggie for her country, Daniel for Maggie. Their mutual sacrifices put them on opposite sides of a revolution. Can their love survive?

addictive Historical Must-Read Page-Turner Romance

First Line of Through the Barricades by Denise Deegan

“Maggie woke coughing.”

My Thoughts on Through the Barricades by Denise Deegan:

I was addicted to this book when I was reading it. It transported me back to a troubled Dublin and gave me a 360 degree view of the various thoughts of it’s citizens. Those that wanted a rebellion in order to gain freedom from England, those that wanted Home Rule (a lesser freedom where Ireland would have it’s own parliament) and those who were content with the status quo.

But as much history as I absorbed, the main focus of this book is on the main characters.  Their lives, their hopes, their dreams all held me enthralled as I read.

  • Maggie who wants to make a difference and is willing to sacrifice all for her country
  • Daniel who loves Maggie and is willing to sacrifice himself for her. Thought not in a way that Maggie would ever approve of.

I took both of these characters into my heart.  I felt the pain and conflicted feelings that each of them went through. We see Maggie’s heart break while she tries to fulfil what she thinks is her destiny in helping Ireland become a republic. We experience the horrendous conditions of World War 1, as Daniel enlists in the British Army, and has to endure endless misery in the trenches.

Both characters face adversity with bravery, but are also both troubled with doubts and I loved the realistic angle that this added. I had no clue what way the book would end, so I read with trepidation, hoping and praying that love would somehow conquer all.

Overall I loved this one and couldn’t read it fast enough. And it will be a long time before I forget Maggie and Daniel’s story.

Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-stars

Who should read Through the Barricades by Denise Deegan?

I recommend this to you if you love history (especially Irish history or World War 1 settings), strong characters, an epic romance and a book that will make you feel all the emotions. Fans of books such as The Girl from The Savoy by Hazel Gaynor and Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blankman should also enjoy.


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9 Responses to “Book Review: Through the Barricades by Denise Deegan”

  1. Toady

    This sound fascinating! I know little about the subject, and it sounds like a pleasant way to get a little more familiar whilst reading a little romance, which I was just recently thinking that I need more of. Thank you for the introduction, Trish.
    Toady recently posted…Persuasion by Jane Austen

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