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Name Upon Name Paperback – 6 Aug 2015
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'History is rarely clean and simple; the beauty of this book is that it embraces that complexity.' - Dr Patrick Geoghegan, Professor of History at Trinity College Dublin and presenter of Newstalk;'One of our foremost writers for young people' --Robert Dunbar, The Irish Times
About the Author
Sheena Wilkinson has been established as one of Ireland's most acclaimed writers of contemporary realistic fiction for young people. Winner of multiple Children's Books Ireland awards and recipient of special bursaries from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland for the development of her writing, Sheena is now a full time author and writing teacher living in Belfast.
Top customer reviews
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I first discovered Sheena Wilkinson earlier this year when I read her novel Taking Flight, and she quickly became one of my favourite contemporary authors. Now she has turned her hand to historical fiction, writing about a period in history I knew little about - Ireland's Easter Rising. In the wrong hands this could have been a dry subject, but by putting a gripping family story at the heart of Name Upon Name, Sheena Wilkinson pulls you in and makes you care, carefully examining both sides of the conflict and painting a sensitively-drawn picture of Helen's dilemma as she is forced to make adult decisions despite her young age.
Name Upon Name is a book which will make you cry, smile, and above all, think - I cannot recommend it highly enough.
This is the first Sheena Wilkinson novel I've read and after reading Name Upon Name I will be going back for more.
This historical novel is set during the Easter Rising and the outbreak of World War I, Helen is living in a divided Ireland and suffering from the divisions within her own family. Helen's loyalties are further complicated by her feelings for her older cousins Sandy and Michael. Sandy is in the army and has already seen action in France but Michael is stuck on the family farm, desperate to enlist.
Everything is turned upside down when Michael runs away, but before he can even get to France he's deployed to Dublin to deal with the Rising.
Helen receives letters from Sandy in which he tells her about terrible things he's seeing on the front and Helen experiences her first taste of real war.
Sheena Wilkinson constantly asks what exactly are they fighting for? She examines the devastation of the War, the Rising in Dublin, and the battles between the families at home in Northern Ireland. For a short novel she covers a lot of topics with skill and style allowing the reader to see through Helen's somewhat naïve and innocent eyes. We watch Helen grow up far too quickly, dealing with issues from the adult world as she tries to discover her own feelings about religion, politics and Ireland rather than be told what to think by her family. And this is what makes Name Upon Name such a good novel because it covers huge, universal themes that every teenager can relate to whether they have an understanding of war, politics, religion and Northern Ireland's history or not. I really enjoyed expanding my knowledge and understanding of the 1916 Easter Rising but what surprised me throughout was how contemporary the novel feels and this a testament to Sheena Wilkinson's skill as a writer.
Most recent customer reviews
Although not a teenager, loved this book - sensitive, engaging and brilliantly researched by a very gifted writer. Looking forward to the sequel.