‘Daughter of the Storm’ by Tina Callaghan – Review

On the way down the ramp, she read the same notice that held a prominent place on the mainland. 

Ferry operation subject to weather. 

Suddenly feeling an aloneness that was very different to what she had been looking for, Lia sat on a bollard until the ferry eased away from the pier and made its way out to sea, bearing a few new passengers. When it had gone around the Chimneys, she stood up turned towards the village, hitched her rucksack higher and went up the slipway. What else was there to do?

She considered calling to the red door, which she now saw doubled as the name of the shop, to ask for directions but something about the look the two had exchanged made her nervous. She looked around for a likely stranger to ask. 

Down below her, fishermen were working on boats in the small, sheltered harbour, doing whatever fishermen do. They all looked too busy to ask. 

A guy was close by, with a camera raised to his face. She looked to see what he might be photographing, but it all looked the same colour grey to her. Then she raised her gaze and saw two big white-and-yellow birds flying towards the Chimneys. A birdwatcher. Hopefully harmless. 

Lia walked towards where the birdwatcher was standing on a spongy expanse of moss and grass leading to a small cliff. Below him was a beach, part sand, part shingle. It probably looked pretty in the summer. 

“Hi,” she said, still a small distance away, not wanting to startle him. 

He turned sharply, snapping a picture as he did. 

“Oh, did you get me?” Lia said. She was conscious that her hair was a mess and she needed a touch of the lip gloss she had shoved in a pocket of her bag. 

“Think so.” He made no effort to look or to delete it. Instead, he just looked at her. 

****

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads)- 

Lia needs to find out why her father jumped from the cliff onto the Devil’s Teeth rocks below. The only way to understand what happened is to go to the isolated weather-beaten island herself. However, there’s more to the island than cliffs and storms and history. It also has its close-knit people. Like Ed, a young man who’s troubled and almost ready to leave; Lia’s Uncle Harry and his secretive friends; heavily pregnant Becky and her worried parents Rose and Frank.

Everyone is either dreading the violent winter storms to come or, strangely, praying for them. And then there’s the Hall, the crumbling, brooding mansion that has held all of the island’s secrets for centuries. It’s out there, on the edge of the grey sea, and the coming storm will release all that it has hidden. Lia, Ed and the others are trapped on the island by the storm, fighting for more than their survival. They must fight to save their immortal souls.

 

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Thoughts –

Daughter of the Storm is a modern Irish horror with a gothic atmosphere to it. Set on an isolated island on the verge of being entirely cut off from the mainland by a winter storm, this book explores an aging generation, the emigration of younger generations, and the loneliness that such a harsh life can bring.

Lia brings you on her journey to discover why her father killed himself and if in fact he actually did. She grew up in New York, a far cry away from the tiny island where her father grew up battling harsh winters with his brother and the other men of the island. As the novel progresses we realise that the island, with the help of the men, has a dark secret and that it’s not safe to go outside the village after dark.

Callaghan brings the island to life with her descriptions. The land itself as a personality, the sea that surrounds it, shapes, had its own will and the reader is thrown into the story along with the characters to feel the chill of the wind, smell the salt on the air, and marvel at the birds that wheel over the cliff tops. Young Lia and Ed have a relationship that blossoms quickly but believably, two teenagers very much the same in their wants and needs, but worlds apart when it comes to responsibilities and expectations. Lia is expected to leave home and go to college whereas Ed’s father abuses him to try and get him to never leave the island and take over their farm, seeing his interest in photography as ‘soft’. Daughter of the Storm is a book that shows the harsh realities of a way of life that is dying out, and what some men will do to strangle the last drops of life out of it if they have to.

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As her second novel, Daughter of the Storm is a triumph and one that I devoured in less than twenty four hours. With a young protagonist but adult themes and side characters, this horror novel is perfect for teenagers and adults and one that you will want to read again and again. With a twist ending that I certainly didn’t see coming, Daughter of the Storm is a great way to start off a new year of dark fiction.

If you’d like to check out my review of Tina Callaghan’s first book you can find it here. And if you’d like to check out my video review of the book you can find my new Booktube channel here.

 

About the Author –

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Tina Callaghan is a writer of speculative fiction, both for children and adults. Her stories involve elements of history, mythology and the supernatural. Her short stories have appeared alongside horror and science-fiction greats Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Ray Bradbury and Robert Bloch. You can follow her on Twitter here.

Links to Read and Review – 

Eason.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Goodreads.com

 

 

What’s your favourite Irish horror book or author? Do you like horror that has a twist/mystery to solve or not? Do you have any recommendations for me?

 

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