Tuesday 23 October 2018

Dark tales of life, loss and justice

Extraordinary collection of stories about ordinary people

Star of stage and screen Patrick Bergin reading Macroom author Adrienne Acton’s ‘The Prism and Other Stories’
Star of stage and screen Patrick Bergin reading Macroom author Adrienne Acton’s ‘The Prism and Other Stories’

Bill Browne

A collection of colourful short stories from the pen of Macroom author Adrienne Acton has been given the seal of approval by none other than Hollywood actor Patrick Bergin.

While a work of fiction 'The Black Prism and Other Stories', Adrienne's third book, was inspired by a very real event that took place in 2017 when she testified in court against what she described as "one of the most evil people that ever stood on two legs." 

"It was a very difficult thing to do but when it was all over, and I had caught my breath again, there were two things that really stood out about people's reactions to my story," Adrienne told The Corkman.

Firstly the fact that she was neither angry or bitter for having to keep her "horrendous truth" for more than three decades and secondly that people were full of praise for her going public with her story.

"There had been a sense that I should be afraid to tell my tale. I found this odd, as it involved the sins of others, not mine and it struck me that behind every person there is a story," said Adrienne. "It may not be obvious from the outside, but each of us has a tale to tell that differs from the persona we display to the world. That was the basis for the book."

It contains a compilation of 19 stories that are about, in Adrienne's own words, "you, me and the neighbours." These include the story of a lady who has taken an overdose and explains why she is killing herself, a priest who questions the churches use of celibacy as a form of control, a fisherman who has a near-death experience and a criminal that gets his just desserts. 

"These are stories about how we want to know everything about our neighbours without asking them directly. It's about the abused child's path to adulthood, the fun and folly of the Irish stud and the lies we tell about the recently departed at a funeral," said Adrienne. 

While she admitted many the stories were "a little on the dark side", Adrienne said they were also about the men and women that live amongst us and "eventually become legends in our localities." 

"I loved writing the book. I learned so much about the strengths that lie within all of us when we are pushed too far and too hard. The book allowed me to understand that change can happen and we can inspire people to be at their best when we bare our souls for the greater good of others," said Adrienne. 

Patrick Bergin, a self professed fan of Adrienne's books, described her latest collection as "wonderful and a must read for those with an interest in gaining a deeper understanding of the human psyche". 

The 'Black Prism and Other Stories' is available to buy online at, at the Bigger Picture in Macroom and Cork and at An Gadai Dubh Books in Ballymakeera.