Hello and welcome to ‘Map Monday’. This was inspired by the current pandemic and lockdowns and the inability to travel. I will share one book each week with you that is set somewhere different to where I live. I’ll chat a bit about the book and throw some interesting facts out there about the place. I hope you enjoy travelling through books with me…
This week I’ve picked Listening Still by Anne Griffin which is based in a few places but I’ll be focusing on Ireland for this post!
Jeanie Masterson has a gift: she can hear the recently dead and give voice to their final wishes and revelations. Inherited from her father, this gift has enabled the family undertakers to flourish in their small Irish town. Yet she has always been uneasy about censoring some of the dead’s last messages to the living. Unsure, too, about the choice she made when she left school seventeen years ago: to stay or leave for a new life in London with her charismatic teenage sweetheart.
So when Jeanie’s parents unexpectedly announce their plan to retire, she is jolted out of her limbo. In this captivating successor to her bestselling debut, Anne Griffin portrays a young woman who is torn between duty, a comfortable marriage and a role she both loves and hates and her last chance to break free, unaware she has not been alone in softening the truth for a long while.
Interesting Facts about Ireland:
- Ireland was the first country in the world to legalise gay marriage by public referendum.
- The population is around 4.9 million
- The Irish tricolour of green, white and orange represents both Ireland’s history and its independence. The green represents the Gaelic tradition of Ireland, the Orange represents the followers of William of Orange and the white represents the aspirations for peace between the two.
- Dublin (the capital city) was founded roughly 2,000 years ago.
- Over 10% of the population has red hair in Ireland.
- The shamrock is recognised around the world as a symbol of Ireland and all things Irish. But the harp is actually the official National Symbol of Ireland.
- It’s very wet – In the summer of 2007, it rained in Ireland for 40 days straight!
- The ashes of St. Valentine, believe it or not, have found their final resting place in a shrine inside Whitefriar Street Church, in Dublin city centre.
- 18% of people living in Ireland are foreign
- The highest mountain in Ireland is Carrauntoohil, at 1,308 metres high.
- Ireland is the most successful Eurovision Song Contest country.