What was life like for children of political activists during the Troubles? Bill Rolston has collected together the stories of twenty Children of the Revolution whose parents' activities - and in may cases, imprisonment - had a significant affect on childhoods and life choices.
It's very possible to have lived in Northern Ireland for thirty or forty years and not really grasped the full gamut and heard the stories of what went on in other neighbourhoods and communities, "the direct voice of the children of combatants has barely been heard at all".
Rolston's interviews were conducted right across the political and paramilitary spectrum. There are many insights from the eyes of the children.
John Lyttle remembers his father Tommy (West Belfast UDA Brigadier) kneeling at the end of the bed for hours each night, "negotiating" rather than praying. As a child he doodled "blood and guts and helicopters and bombs" while his father and other activists sat in the kitchen chatting about their next target.
Living with terror in the house and the consequent threat on his own personal security left John feeling that he was "being offered up" and left him daily expecting to be killed as he went about his life as a teenager.
Dan McCann was in the IRA and shot along with two fellow volunteers by a British Army undercover squad in Gibraltar. His daughter expresses a disconnectedness to her father: "... although he's just a parent to me, to the outside world he's something different". She questions her father's selfish motivations: "You could have changed society forever, but no ... There's 1,001 things you could have done, but no, you had to choose the most risky".
She talks about the normality of Gerry Adams visiting the house, and the inappropriateness of other people commemorating her father's death with impersonal, bloodthirsty hoopla.
Many interviewees express dissatisfaction that one of their parents (usually their father) put the 'struggle' above family life. Many describe regular and at times brutal police raids on their homes, some explaining that these experiences were their earliest memories.
Sometimes terror visited their homes too. Fiona Bunting recalls the night her parents were shot. She talks in the book about coming out of her bedroom and seeing her mum "lying in a big pool of blood" and having to step over her dead father to get down the stairs.
Children also describe unglamorous trips to prison, sometimes involving long and expensive travel, and often with more sense of duty love. Some talk about their own imprisonment, one even ending up sharing a cell with his father.
Stories of children appalled by their parent's actions. Stories of children who followed their parents into paramilitary activity. Stories of children who are proud of their parents. Stories of children who haven't yet asked too much about the detail of what parents got up to.
Jeanette Keenan (daughter of IRA quartermaster general Brian Keenan) sums up the themes in the book well when she says:
"We have a generation, two generations, of children who were directly affected by the way and by parents not being there, being away in prison and parents who now can't come to terms with being out. And lots of parent and their children who can't talk about how they feel or cope with their feelings, and this affects their relationships now."
The book is a warning to parents - even those outside the world of conflict - that their occupations and priorities may have long-lasting effects on their children. And an insight into how a significant group of people in Northern Ireland society resiliently cope with the aftermath of their parents.
I'm sure these kind of stories can be told about conflicts throughout history and right around the world. But when it's on your own doorstep, it's disturbing.