For the Love of Rose
Rose O Mahony lives an idyllic life in Little Island, in County Cork. She lives with her parents Nonie and Patsy, cousin Molly and her husband James.
It is 1930’s Ireland and a time of great unrest as the spectre of another World War looms. More
‘For the Love of Rose’ is the story of Rose, a child ‘given’ to Nonie and Patsy O’Mahony by Nonie’s best friend Elisabeth McCarthy in the year 1926. The setting is Little Island, County Cork. Rose is a happy child who brings joy to her ‘parents’, her cousin Molly, and friends. We get to know the people in Rose‘s life, her ‘parents’ Nonie and Patsy O’Mahony; her cousin Molly; Molly’s husband James Fitzpatrick and their children Séan and Katie.
At the age of nine, Rose’s happy existence is rocked by her beloved mother’s untimely death. Her father never quite gets over his beloved wife’s death, and his erratic behaviour becomes increasingly worrying to Rose, Molly, James, and their two children. Molly seems to bear the brunt of the responsibility for everyone. When her third baby dies within minutes of being born, she blames Rose and becomes hostile towards her loved ones.
It is a time of unrest in Ireland in the late 1930’s. World War 2 is looming and although Ireland remains neutral, life is becoming increasingly difficult for the Irish. When Rose’s father Patsy dies two years after his beloved wife, Rose experiences grief like never before. She finds solace in her friendship with her ‘uncle’ John Flynn, unaware of the connection between them. When John leaves, James becomes her ally against an increasingly violent Molly.
World War 2 is unleashed in 1939 and its devastating effects reverberate around the world. As the war progresses, the country is rocked by shortages of food, petrol, coal and clothing.
James volunteers to fight in Burma on behalf of the British Army. With James gone, money becomes scarce and Rose gets a job as a domestic servant for Mrs Holbrook who lives in Carrigrenan House. Mrs Holbrook’s son Alfie pays a visit from London. Despite their cultural and religious differences, Rose and Alfie become firm friends. Alfie declares his love for Rose and promises to marry her when she turns eighteen. Days later, Mrs Holbrook and Alfie leave for London. Alfie writes from London and tells her of his intention to fight in the war, and begs her to wait for him.
In 1944 as the tide is turning in the war, Rose, now eighteen, secretly helps a German soldier who crash lands in Little Island. She hides him from the authorities. Love blossoms between Kurt and Rose. A suspicious Molly discovers Kurt and informs the gardai. Kurt is arrested and shipped to Britain as a Prisoner of War. After a violent confrontation between Rose and Molly, Molly reveals the truth about Rose’s ‘parents’. She vows to find them.
Rose is distraught when she discovers she is pregnant and Molly is furious. Rose’s life is turned upside down when she is put in Bessborough, one of the many homes run by the Catholic Establishment for dealing with the problem of unmarried mothers. Meanwhile Molly grows increasingly worried about her husband James who is missing in action in Burma. She is horrified when she discovers the truth about James’ disappearance. Finally Rose gives birth.
Does she ever see Alfie again? Or Kurt?
Who does she marry?
Follow this family saga that begins in 1930’s Ireland. Discover the hardships and misery that swept neutral Ireland during World War 2 and it’s aftermath.
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