June Considine

notes

Life
b.1945; older sis. of Dermot Bolger [as supra]; grew up in Finglas; suffered the death of her mother, 1969; worked as a freelance journalist; author of children’s fiction for Young Poolbeg incl. the Luvender Trilogy (When the Luvenders Came to Merrick Town, Luvenders at the Old Mill, 1991; and Island of Luvenders); also the Beechwood series; also When The Bough Breaks (2002), concerning the birth and abandonment of Eva Frawley, her adoption, and her search at 27 for her family origins, ending with the discovery of her mother and the man who corrupted her; issued Deception (2004), which was the RTE “Rattlebag” novel of the year in 2004; issued Guilty (2108; US 2019), a story of early mistakes and later costs to family; contribs. to “Sunday Miscellany” on RTE (radio), and works as non-fiction ghost-writer; gives regular workshops on creative writing; lives in Malahide, Co Dublin; board-member of the Irish Writers’ Centre; forthcoming novel The Wife Before Me; lives in Malahide.

June Considine  

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Works
For children [pret-teens and young adults]: Summer in Fountain Square (Dublin: Poolbeg Press 1993), 128pp.; Puppet Strings (Dublin: Poolbeg Press 1994), 97pp. The Luvender Series: When the Luvenders Came to Merrick Town (Dublin: Poolbeg Press 1989), 250pp.; Luvenders at the Old Mill (Dublin: Poolbeg Press 1990), 230pp.; and Island of Luvenders (Dublin: Poolbeg Press 1991), 212pp. [also listed as Zentyre series]. The Beechwood Series: School Bully [Beechwood 3] (Dublin: Poolbeg Press 1993), ix, 99pp.; The Debs Ball [Beechwood 2] (Dublin: Poolbeg Press 1993), ii, 103pp.; The Slumber Party (Dublin: Pooleg 1993), 112pp.; Algrave Blues [Beechwood 7] (Dublin: Poolbeg Press 1995), 186pp.

For adults [as Laura Elliot]: View from a Blind Bridge (Poolbeg Press 1992), 196pp.; The Glass Triangle (Poolbeg Press 1994), 205pp.; When The Bough Breaks (Dublin: New Island 2002; pb. 2003), 502pp., rep. in extended version as Sleep Sister (Ickenham: Bookouture 2002); Deceptions (Dublin: New Island 2004, rep. 2005), 361pp. [see note; also as audio-book, 2006]; reiss. as Fragile Lies (Bookoure 2015); The Prodigal Sister (London: Avon 2009), 423pp. [see note], reiss. as The Lost Sister [e-pub] (Ickenham: Bookouture 2009) [see note]; The Betrayal (Ickenham: Bookouture [2015]; Stolen Child (London: Avon 2010, 2015; vi, 205pp. [see note]; Guilty (Ickenham: Bookouture 2017), 394pp. [see note].

Audiobooks: Deception [2004] issued as an audiobook, read by Jim Norton (2006).

Miscellaneous, ‘The Women's Movement v. Women’ [report], compiled by June Considine and Nuala Fennell, in Aim Magazine (April-June 1981.)

Ghost-written: with Yvonne Kinsella, Witness to Evil: MY Father’s Murder, My Mother’s Guilt, My Struggle for Justice in a House of Tyranny by Veronica McGrath (Dublin: Hachette Books Ireland 2011), 248pp., pb. See also Missing Pieces: Women in Irish History [Dublin: Irish Feminist Information Publications with Women’s Community Press 1983], 64pp., ill. (b&w) - 1. Since the famine.

As Laura Elliot ...
New Titles 2018 Guilty - US publication

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Commentary
Shirley Kelly, ‘I could feel a novel coming on - that was 1998’, interview with June Considine, describes When the Bough Breaks (2002) as a novel about Beth, the daughter of an ineffectual father abused by her politician uncle who goes on to abuse her yngr. sister Sara, who bears a stillborn child with Beth’s help in dramatic circumstances, and the exposure of the malefactor. (Books Ireland, Summer 2002, p.149-50; see also “First Flush”, Books Ireland, May 2003.)

Kathy Cremin, ‘Families and How to Survive Them’, review of When the Bough Breaks, in The Irish Times, Weekend (13 July 2002): recouonts polot in wihch two young girls, Beth and Sara, watched the enraged flare of their parents’ spite; divided loyalties exacerbated by abuse of a political uncle Tom Oliver; Beth runs away; involves Oedipal conflict of seeing and blindness in which the sisters share knowledge of an abandoned baby and their mutual inability to acknowledge or alleviate each other’s violent emotions. Cremin further writes: ‘On the surface, this is an oldfashioned “family saga”, told through the damaged female characters, with the next generation of women strangely compelled to repeat their mother’s past mistakes, a repetition that serves to illustrate the changed nature of guilt and responsibility in Irish society. In replaying Sara’s story, Considine shows a mastery of gothic conventions, but because the central drama is irresolvable, characters like Tom Oliver are more visible as “villains” who lack psychological complexity. The sweep of this novel has appeal, but Considine’s début is also a kind of high-anxiety fiction that offers a utopian resolution of unmendable lives.’ (p.8.)

June Considine and Dermot Bolger’s childhood

[...]
 Tragedy struck in 1969 when, Bridie, their mother, died. Considine, newly married, moved back home for six months.
 “I was a child of two halves,” [Dermot] Bolger, the youngest of four siblings, says. “When our mother died, with Dad at sea, June and my sister Deirdre did the child-raising.”
 June says: “Up to then it had been a caring role, now it became more a mothering role.”
 “I always remember her taking the place of our mother,” Bolger says.
 A few years later, back at home once a week to tidy up and keep an eye on things, Considine found crumpled scraps of paper in Bolger’s bedroom. “I read them and felt a tingle going down my back. He was writing poetry,” she says.
  Bolger became the chief babysitter to Considine’s children with her husband, Sean. “June was my first audience,” Bolger says. “I’d always try and have a new poem ready to read to her every time I came to babysit.”
[...]

—Peter Cunningham, ‘My sister took the place of my mother’, in The Irish Times (8 May 2009) [online; accessed 07.05.2019].

See also June Considine’s Blog - online; accessed 04.07.2018.

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Notes
Deceptions (2004): ‘When an extra-marital affair brings Lorraine Cheevers' world crashing down around her, she flees to the seaside town of Trabawn. Here, she decides to pick up the pieces and to start again, not an easy undertaking when memories of the past refuse to stay buried. Determined to find out who is responsible for the hit and run that led to his son being left in a coma, Michael Carmody's search takes him to Trabawn where he meets Lorraine. As their tales unfold side by side, Lorraine and Michael discover just how far people will go to hide the truth and the deceptions they will perpetrate to save themselves.’ (See Literature Ireland - online; accessed 07.04.2019).

The Prodigal Sister (2009): Can a black sheep ever return to the flock? Find out in this emotionally intense tale from a spellbinding Irish talent. Accompany the Lambert sisters on their unforgettable journey - fans of Anita Shreve and Rosie Thomas w[i]ll be spellbound. When 15-year-old Cathy Lambert runs away from her Dublin home, she is scared and pregnant. Settled in New Zealand with her new son Conor she believes the secret she carries will never be revealed... Rebecca Lambert was eighteen when her parents died and she took responsibility for her younger sisters. Years later, she is haunted by fears she hoped she’d conquered. Freed from family duties, mother of three Julie Chambers is determined to recapture the dreams of her youth. Married to a possessive older man, Lauren Moran embarks on a frantic love affair that threatens to destabilise her fragile world. Anxious to make peace with her three sisters, Cathy invites them to her wedding. But as the women journey together through New Zealand towards their reunion, they are forced to confront the past as the secret shared histories of the Lambert sisters are revealed. [Rep. in e-pub as The Lost Sister (London: Avon 2009); See COPAC - online] .

Stolen Child (2010): When Carla Kelly and Robert Gardner marry, they seem destined for happiness. But tragedy strikes when their two-day-old baby, Isobel, is stolen. When Carla Kelly and Robert Gardner marry, they seem destined for happiness. But tragedy strikes when their two-day-old baby, Isobel, is stolen. Distraught and bewildered, they must cope with the media frenzy that follows. As hope of finding her fades, their marriage disintegrates under the strain and they divorce. Robert moves to Australia and Carla, who had been a successful model, becomes reclusive and retreats into anonymity in order to escape the glare of publicity. Meanwhile, many miles away in a small town, Joy Dowling, miracle baby, is the adored only child of Susanne and David. Her mother is over protective and attempts to rear Joy in isolation, but as a wilful and headstrong child, Joy will not be held back and comes into conflict with her mother. Susanne Dowling has her reasons for wanting to keep Joy out of sight but some things can’t stay hidden forever. As the years pass, hopes of finding Isobel fade, but Carla Kelly never gives up her search. Her love for her Stolen Child burns fiercely and soon, secrets long kept will be brought into the light. Stolen Child is a love story about two families who are torn apart by deception and the consequences of a reckless act that shaped their futures. [Reissued as On Your Doorstep, Avoon 2018.]

Guilty (2018) - Publisher's notice: ‘It begins with a phone call. It ends with a missing child.On a warm summer’s morning, thirteen-year-old school girl Constance Lawson is reported missing. A few days later, Constance’s uncle, Karl Lawson, suddenly finds himself swept up in a media frenzy created by journalist Amanda Bowe implying that he is the prime suspect. Six years later … Karl’s life is in ruins. His marriage is over, his family destroyed. But the woman who took everything away from him is thriving. With a successful career, husband and a baby boy, Amanda’s world is complete. Until the day she receives a phone call and in a heartbeat, she is plunged into every mother’s worst nightmare.’ See review: ‘Amanda Bowe, the journalist and Karl Lawson, the alleged suspect are the two main protagonists. When Karl’s niece, Constance Lawson, disappears one night, few words of implied guilt written by Amanda and a picture taken in a different context, implicates Karl. The media uproar following it and the police investigation destroy his life, his marriage, his career. Everyone, including his wife and brother, do not believe in his innocence. He is left all alone in this torturous journey, with his pain and sadness over Constance’s death, who was like his surrogate daughter and the loss of his own child Sasha, who is oceans away.’ [Amanda goes on to enjoy a business career and marries her boss, only to lose her own son Marcus’s in a similar disappearance which seems to reflect Karl’s well-planned revenge.] (Review at Shalini's Books & Reviews - online; accessed 7.04.2019.)