Book of the Month - Fiction : November, 2019

A Great Beauty

By A. O'Connor


London – has thrown itself into the roaring twenties, trying to forget the horrors of the Great War. At the pinnacle of this decadent society is the esteemed Irish artist Sir John Lavery and his beautiful American wife Lady Hazel. Best friends with everyone from Prime Ministers to the Churchills, everyone wants to know the Lavery’s and an invitation to dinner at their Kensington mansion is like gold dust. Hazel has become her husband’s most prized model and she is regularly featured in Tatler and Vogue. The envy of the Society wives, Hazel enjoys the rumours and whiff of scandal that follows her everywhere. But behind Hazel’s wit, charm and beauty there is a great sadness. She is haunted by a tragic past that she can never seem to escape.  She is wracked with guilt over past events and troubled by a present that offers her everything she thought she wanted, but still does not bring her the happiness that has eluded her all her life.

Ireland – After two years of bloody war that has ripped through the country a truce has finally being called in the War of Independence. Finally, life slowly returns to normal but everyone knows it is a very fragile truce that could erupt into bloodshed at any moment again. Time is short to find a lasting peace. Michael Collins is an enigma. A name adored by millions and feared by as many more. A man who has lived in the shadows for the past number of years as he conducted the war for Irish freedom. Living life on the run, outwitting the enemy, now with the truce he can finally leave those shadows. But Michael is scarred after the years of battle, and not just with the British but personal demons that he hopes he has finally put to rest with his engagement to Kitty. He did not want to go to London to lead the treaty negotiations. But he felt it was his patriotic duty to go.