Love, life and lore brought vividly to life in Breda's novel

Sinead Kelleher

If a reader wants to hear more, you know you are onto a good story and that is exactly what Breda Joy was on to, when she began writing her first novel which will hit bookshelves this week.

'Eat the Moon' is the first novel written by the Killarney based journalist whose dreams have finally been fulfilled with the launch of her very first novel.  Earlier this year Breda signed a three-book publishing deal with Poolbeg Publishers, the first of which will be on bookshelves across the country this weekend.

"I've been interested in books and writing for as long as I can remember," said Breda.

"I've written poetry, plays and short stories, but my big ambition was to write a novel. It has taken me a while but here it is. So let's hope the story goes down well." And it's seems Breda has got it right given the great reviews the novel has already got.  Readers are in for a treat, especially those who are fans of Maeve Binchy novels, as Breda has captured Irish traditions, stories and language in her novel which is set in Coachford in Cork, her mother's home place and where she has fond memories of summer fun that are vividly brought to life in the novel.

'Eat the Moon' focuses on the O'Mahony family and in particular on Kieran O'Mahoney, whose life thrown into turmoil as is that of his sister, Sally, and first cousin, Tamara, who has just arrived from the UK and has lost her voice following a traumatic event in her own life. Their grandmother or 'Nana' features strongly in the novel along with Sally and Kieran's parents and each character has their own story to tell that will have readers rooting with them.  The book is set in 1969, the year of the Moon Landing. Like the Apollo astronauts the O'Mahony family's journey is perilous and difficult and Breda brings this journey and their thoughts and feelings right to your doorstep. 

The novel began it's life as a short story which Breda's friend, Liz O'Brien, wanted to hear more of and it grew into the novel it is today. Breda describes herself as the "queen of procrastinators" but with huge support from family, friends and the Irish Writer's Centre Green Been Novel Fair,  the novel crossed the line. She too credits Killarney Writing Group, Kerry Education and Training Board and the Be Aware Prevent Suicide group with inspiration. 

"My book would not be a reality today but for two community groups that exposed me to crucial influences. Through the Kerry ETB I met adult learners whose determination in taking on mountain-high challenges made me re-assess my own capabilities. The Killarney charity, 'Be Aware Prevent Suicide,' set up by Deirdre Fee to nurture mental wellness, introduced me to outstanding speakers who personified grace in the face of adversity. The focus of 'Eat the Moon' grew from this," she said.  Breda is a journalist with Kerry's Eye and a former journalist with  Her poetry has been published  extensively and she has been a winner and runner up in a host of literary competitions.  Breda will sign her novel at Eason's in Kilarney on Saturday, September 8 from 12pm.