Through the Barricades by Denise Deegan. Advance Reader Copy (ARC) from the author included. No affiliate links used. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
Maggie Gilligan wants to make a difference in the world. She has to, for her father. She is willing to do whatever it takes.
When Maggie meets Daniel, she thinks he is nothing more than a privileged boy who has no clue what is really going on. She dares him to join her in volunteering at a food kitchen. Daniel accepts and a friendship is formed.
When Maggie realises that volunteering at the soup kitchen isn’t enough, that she needs to do more, Daniel is at her side. As their relationship grows, Daniel promises to do everything he can to keep her safe. Even the one thing Maggie does not want him to do, enlisting in the British Army.
Spanning the 1913 Lockout, the First World War and the Easter Rising, Through the Barricades by Denise Deegan is an evocative look at a period that helped shape Ireland. Deegan’s fictional characters leap off the page just as much as the historical ones.
Through the Barricades is a story about love and revolution. It is a story about making your voice heard. It is a story about trying to make a difference. We see Maggie and Daniel try to balance their love for each other with their respective sense of duty. We experience a country divided, the effects of poverty, the realities of war and the lengths Maggie and others will go to in order to secure an Irish Republic.
Maggie Gilligan is a character who will stay with me. I know she’ll cross my mind from time to time, I’ll wonder how she’s doing and whether her life is going the way she hopes.