Better to have loved and lost, than never loved.
Paul Starr, Irelands leading cardiologist dies in a car crash with pregnant young women by his side.
United in their grief and the love of one man, four women are thrown together in an attempt to come to terms with life after Paul. They soon realise they never really knew him at all.
The love they shared for Paul in his life and which incensed a feeling of mistrust and dislike for each other, in his death turns into the very thing that bonds them and their children to each other forever.
As they begin to form unlikely friendships, Paul’s death proves to be the catalyst that enables them to become the people they always wanted to be.
My Q&A with Faith Hogan
Faith Hogan was born in Ireland. She gained an Honours Degree in English Literature and Psychology from Dublin City University and a Postgraduate Degree from University College, Galway. She has worked as a fashion model, an event’s organiser and in the intellectual disability and mental health sector. She lives in the west of Ireland with her husband, children and a very fat cat called Norris.
She was a winner in the 2014 Irish Writers Centre Novel Fair – an international competition for emerging writers.
Her debut novel, ‘My Husband’s Wives,’ is a contemporary women’s fiction novel set in Dublin. It will be published by Head of Zeus on 4th of May 2017 in Ireland and is available in all good book shops. She is currently working on her next novel.
Faith Hogan Contact:
Follow Faith on Twitter at @gerhogan or like her on Facebook.comFaithhoganauthor/ or, if you’re really interested, you can catch up with her on www.faithhogan.com
Describe yourself using three words?
Just three? Mammy, Wife, Writer-Reader!
What inspired you to write your first novel?
I’ve always written, but getting around to writing a novel took time – in the end a forced stay in bed when I was pregnant with my twins meant I no longer had an excuse not to! And once I started, there was no stopping me!
What time of day do you like to write?
I tend to write in the mornings – but any time is good, so long as the WiFi is switched off!
What is your favorite book and why?
It’s probably Ivanhoe – because it has everything and I think no matter how many times you read it – there’s always something new in there!
How did you pick the title of your book?
Full credit goes to my publisher on that one – she had the title before I even signed the contract!
Are the characters in your book based on real people?
No – I think books are much too tame! Seriously, most characters develop on the page, they grow as I write, they can start off as one thing, but evolve into very different people as their journey continues – a bit like us, really.
What’s your favourite word?
‘Friday’ is pretty nice!
If you were a colour what would it be?
It would probably be something earthy, creative and positive – I do like green – so maybe India Green?
Do you plan your story beforehand or go with the flow?
I tend to have an outline before I start – that involves sitting for a while staring in to space – oh yes, and making cups of coffee and eating biscuits!
Who is your favourite Author?
Gosh – again, just one??? At the moment I’m reading the Chilbury Ladies Choir and enjoying that so this week, it’s Jennifer Ryan! But honestly, there are too many to narrow down.
You are attending a dinner party with four fictitious book characters who would they be and why?
Lizzy Bennet (Pride & Prejudice) Gloria Hatter (One Good Turn – Kate Atkinson) Bridget Jones and Miss Marple – I’d imagine that you’d either laugh with them or at them!
What book are you reading at the moment?
The Chilbury Ladies Choir by Jennifer Ryan.
Where in the world is your happy place?
It has to be my own comfy chair, with a cuppa at my elbow and a book in my hand – bliss.
If you had one superpower what would it be?
I wouldn’t mind borrowing Hermione Grangers Time Turner now and again, just to fit a bit more into the week!
If you could give any literary villain a happy ending who would you chose?
Do you know, I think most of them get their just deserts – in real life, I’d be looking for the good, but don’t we read to escape? To live for a while in situations where everything is tied up neatly at the end?
Are you working on a new project?
Do you have any upcoming events our members can attend?
I’m looking forward to launching my debut paperback in Ireland in May this year – down in dear old county Mayo – details should be all over Facebook as they’re more concrete and everyone is welcome!
My Husbands Wives ~ Sneak Peak ~ Extract
Grace Kennedy was not what Evie had imagined. Of course, she’d seen pictures of her in the Sunday papers; she always struck her as a bon vivant, glass in hand, glamourous type. She was smaller, more delicate in the flesh. Evie had imagined her taller, stronger, more garrulous, but this woman was not much over five foot, with long dark hair that gave her the appearance of a student. Her eyes were emerald sensitive orbs that seemed to reflect more than most eyes capture. They sat in dark hollows, the legacy of losing Paul; Evie knew what it was to cry over that. Her voice, low and even, was cool and compassionate at a time when others would be crazy with a mixture of grief and rage. Evie couldn’t help taking in the house. The smell of heavy dark coffee, perforated by the sea breeze and fat exotic candles lingered in the air. The hall with warm honey walls was an eclectic mix of old and new, antiques and modern pieces, sitting harmoniously together. She couldn’t stop noticing things, like Paul’s umbrella still standing to attention in a large ceramic crock in the hall or the picture above the fireplace, the Kennedy–Starrs. They seemed the perfect family, smiling for the camera in what was obviously a posed sitting, taken less than six months earlier. Evie peered up at the portrait, tried to hide her obvious interest. She stifled a pang of something she would not acknowledge as jealousy; Paul was wearing the tie she’d bought him just last Christmas. It was wrong, it was all wrong. Perhaps Grace Kennedy was confused? The way she spoke, she called him her husband, but what about that picture? They all looked so… happy. Evie would be glad to leave the place. She knew that if she had to wait another minute she might lose the tenuous grip she had on her composure. That would be the next worst thing that could happen today. The very worst had already happened.
‘What about Delilah?’ she asked Grace. Evie caught her breath when she saw Delilah. She was a striking mix of Paul and her mother; she had his height and his way of bending forward when she spoke and listened, but her hair was dark and her eyes held you far longer than you could account for. She had wanted to meet her for so long, and now today, well… anything but this. ‘You can’t just leave her.’ Evie dropped her voice, sensing that her familiarity with the child had thrown Grace somewhat. She lowered her eyes. There was no point having a fight. It was too late to make a lot of difference at this stage. ‘It could be on the news. You don’t want her to hear it when you’re not here.’ Evie shook her head. No child should have to lose a father like this, especially not a man like Paul. She was sure he would have been such a good father; if only they’d had that chance.
Grace stared at her as though there was something more to say. Evie had a feeling she wasn’t keen on her even referring to the child by name. For a moment, Evie wondered what exactly Grace believed her relationship with Paul to be. She quickly put the thought out of her head. Of course, Paul would have explained to Grace. He would have told her exactly how things were – why not, they were soulmates after all, Paul and Evie. Grace pulled a phone from her oversized soft leather bag. Evie listened as she spoke to a woman she called Una; a neighbour, she presumed. She quickly filled the woman in, nodding thoughtfully over the expressed sympathies as though they were her due and asked the woman to keep an eye on Delilah until she returned.
‘Okay, we may as well get this over with,’ Grace said after she left Delilah in the kitchen with Una, a tall blonde woman who had appeared, it seemed to Evie, before she had time to hang up the phone, giving Grace a swift hug, and then nodding silently to her.
Grace marched down the tiled path to the waiting car opposite. The officer who had already broken the news to Evie was charged with bringing them to identify Paul. The car was unmarked, the detective in plain clothes; that at least was something to be thankful for.
The drive from Howth to Dublin seemed to go too fast and, still, it felt to Evie as if this day would never end. The journey was silent. Evie’s mind was a muddled warren; she remembered glimpsing great hulking bridges turned to bulky stone dragons, forever crossing black water, never getting to the other side. She couldn’t remember if she had breakfast, dinner or tea. She couldn’t remember if she heard the radio news, or sat and considered life while the bells rang out above the village from the Church of the Assumption. All she was aware of was the sound of the gulls, jeering her from across the bay. She’d changed into her tweed suit. It was light grey, probably too warm for today. But it deepened the colour of her eyes, straightened her stride and made her feel there was purpose to her movements.
‘Well, we’re here,’ the officer said with a forced geniality neither of the women could feel. It felt as though they were in the hospital’s belly, though they hadn’t descended any stairs that Evie could remember. There were no views here, none worth hacking out a window for, it seemed. They made their way to what passed for a chapel of prayer, but Evie suspected that it was a place kept only for the dead. The youngster who showed them through had been respectful. She asked them to wait. They needed someone else, someone more official for this business. In a small room, an antechamber more than a waiting room, Evie sat with Grace while a clock ticked noisily overhead.
‘This is going to be hard,’ Grace said needlessly and Evie thought, for just a fleeting moment, that she was glad she was not alone. They walked together, stood composed above the long and narrow form that lay beneath the heavy starched sheet.
‘He looks…’ Evie sought the word, but it eluded her.
‘Peaceful?’ Grace twirled a strand of her long dark hair between nervous fingers. There were no prayers, no sign of the cross from either woman. Evie did not believe in that mumbo jumbo. ‘Maybe, he’s gone to somewhere better?’
‘Maybe.’ Evie stopped herself from adding that, in her opinion, it could not have got much better for him than what they had all those years ago, and he knew it too. They stood for a while, taking in his face. He had transformed into a younger version of himself, the lines and cares and stresses waxed away from his brow. Hard to imagine, one sharp blow and it was all over. She almost envied him. The life he chose, the life she pushed him into, had led to this, where at least he seemed to get some peace. She turned on her soft kitten heels, nodded to the official summoned to take her signature. ‘Yes. It’s him; it’s my husband. Paul Starr.’
Huge thanks to Faith Hogan and Yasmin T ~ @Aria_Fiction
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