Roisin Meaney

Life
b. Co. Kerry; primary-school teacher; worked as teacher in Dublin, Limerick and Zimbabwe, and free-lanced as a copywriter for a Japanese company; wrote The Daisy Picker (2004), winning the Tivoli “Write a Bestseller” award; other novels about life-choices for teenagers and young marrieds followed; living in Limerick in 2005.

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Works
Fiction, The Daisy Picker (Dublin: Tivoli 2004), 314pp.; Putting Out the Stars (Dublin: Tivoli 2005), 302pp.; Don’t Even Think About It (Dublin: O’Brien Press 2006), 187pp.; The Last Week of May (Dublin: Hodder Headline Ireland 2007), 311pp.; The People Next Door (Dublin: Hachette Books Ireland 2008), 439pp.; Half Seven on Thursday (Dublin: Hachette Ireland 2009), 365pp.

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Notes
The Daisy Picker (2004): Lizzie O’Grady is about to change her life. After one too many New Year’s spent watching bad television, and one too many dull outings with dependable fiance Tom, she decides to chuck it all in, throw her backpack into her little Fiesta, and set off into the Wild West - of Ireland, that is - on the road trip of a lifetime. Along the way she manages to meet a cast of interesting characters, live in a caravan, accidentally get a new job, and lose the boring fiance. But, as is often the way in life, things are not as they should be. Pitching up in the little seaside town of Merway, she doesn’t intend to stay long, but the down-at-heel charm of the place and the warmth of the locals draw her in. As winter turns to summer, Lizzie begins to realise that the past cannot be shrugged off like an old winter coat, and that here, too, she must make difficult choices. (COPAC notice; 08.08.2009.)

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Putting out the Stars (2005): Laura and Donal, Breffni and Cian, Andrew and Ruth: three contented middle-class couples living in suburban Limerick, gathering at each other’s houses for intimate dinner parties, bound together by shared memories of childhood adventures. Andrew, Laura’s handsome brother, has just returned from Crete with his new bride in tow, the surprisingly timid Ruth, who is finding it hard to fit in with Andrew’s overbearing mother, Cecily. And, to her increasing concern, Andrew doesn’t seem to have his mind entirely on her ... Laura is desperate to know why she and Donal can’t have a family, and why Donal seems so disinterested - hostile, in fact. And the beautiful, glamorous Breffni, with her lovely husband and golden child, Polly, well, she has the greatest surprise in store. (COPAC notice; 08.08.2009.)

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Half Seven on Thursday (2009): The plot follows an amateur theatrical group from initial auditions through to the stage production of a new play as they meet at half seven on Thursday for rehearsals over six weeks. Each chapter encompasses such a meeting during which we get to know the people involved and their problems, including the man whose wife is unfaithful to the woman with a tragic past from which she cannot escape. (Books Ireland, May 2009, pp.123-24.)

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