When 12 year-old William Devoy's Irish father sends him from New York to a new Dublin boarding school, St Enda's, William imagines having an adventure.
It is 1911; the next five years will bring William, and Ireland, turmoil and opportunity. While William is learning Irish, playing hurling and losing himself in the legend of Cúchulainn, the issue of Irish Home Rule grows increasingly contentious. Sick of British oppression and empowered by the reawakening of Irish national consciousness, one group decide to fight for independence. Among them is Patrick Pearse.
Committed to championing the cause of all things Gaelic, Pearse is a poet and a dreamer, an idealist and an activist. And William's headmaster. Alongside comrades and school friends, and as soldiers of the Army of the Irish Republic, William and Pearse will march on the Dublin General Post Office and into history. Green Dawn at St Enda's commemorates the boys of St Enda's, their teachers and comrades at the centenary of the Easter Rising and tells the story one boy's journey into adulthood as a nation struggles for freedom.
Tracey Iceton set out to write "a novel based on real events so potent they overwhelmed me." Meticulously researched, the boys at the school are nonetheless fictionalized, using the power of the novel to take readers on an impossible journey, losing themselves in another world, befriending people they would never otherwise meet. In this ambitious novel, the first of a trilogy, and marking the Easter Rising, the voices of those silenced by firing squad or hanging ring out clearly, none more so than that of Patrick Pearse, teacher and author.
Haunted by a visit to Kilmainham goal in Dublin, Iceton has written a bold, meticulously researched and partisan novel about events leading up to the 1916 Dublin Easter Rising. In it she creates some memorable characters, not least of which, Finn, lingers long in the mind.
Kitty Fitzgerald, author, shortlisted for the Barnes & Noble Discover Award
Breath-taking, daring and highly original: the 1916 leadership made flesh. Tracey Iceton's writing has both depth and beauty. This is a remarkable, insightful and thrilling reimagining of the Rising passionately seen through the eyes of Finn Devoy, an Irish American schooled and politicised by Pearse in St Enda's and who matures into a young freedom fighter coping with the freight of history, moral responsibility, and the challenge of the next stage of the "unfinished business"…
Danny Morrison, author, former National Director of Publicity for Sinn Féin and Irish Republican.