I’m spending a lot of time on my own these days. Himself is away and with no one to talk to but myself, conversation is at a minimum. I find my mind taking strange turns as I decide what to cook or whether to cook at all. I’ve great plans to adopt habits that might just take root if there are no distractions. Back into the walking. Knocking back that shot of vinegar that comes with its mother (who knew!) and will supposedly relieve me of my aches and pains while lowering my cholesterol. Not reading in bed. Giving the whole intermittent fasting thing another go.
I’m aware of latent anxiety stemming from multiple sources and I’m doing my best not to let it get a grip on me. And in doing so, I find myself getting inordinately excited about little things.
Last Christmas, I ordered Joe Joyce’s Echo series from the wonderful Secret Bookstore in Dublin (free delivery in Ireland over €20). I gave them to my dad and when he’d read them and mam had read them, they were left in my room waiting for me. Kindleless the last time I was home, I devoured all three and enjoyed each one.
They’re set in Ireland in 1939-1941. Our hero, Lieutenant Paul Duggan, works in the intelligence unit of the Irish Army. His mate is a garda with the Special Branch. They navigate the waters of neutrality with pressure from the Germans and the British and indeed the Americans to choose a side. The trilogy is a fascinating peek at life in Dublin during the war, the relationships that evolve, and the politics that come into play.
I had no idea of the importance of Lisbon or the role of the IRA and yes, I know it’s all fiction, but I trust Joe Joyce not to lead me astray.
Anyway, dithering around on my phone over the weekend, I was searching for Joe’s name and was sure I came across mention of a fourth book. I’d never actually heard the series referred to as a trilogy, I simply ordered what the Secret Bookstore had in stock. (They still have some copies.) I wasn’t quite prepared for the level of pure joy I experienced knowing that I’d have another couple of hours with Duggan and his mates. I gave thanks to the book gods and looked forward to downloading it once I’d finished with Jean Heller’s Deuce Mora (Book 3, Burning Rage, has me ready for the next table quiz that has any questions relating to Catherine O’Leary and the Great Fire of Chicago.)
Today, eagerly anticipating returning to 1940s Dublin, I discovered that there are only three – Echoland, Echobeat, and Echowave. I was so disappointed. So very, very, disappointed. I’m working through that disappointment, though, by visiting 1940s Ohio and spending time with M Ruth Meyers’ Maggie Sullivan.
I can’t begin to imagine life without my fictitious friends and the escape they offer.