WHEN Angela Byrne, who runs the successful Celtic House B&B on Michael Street, Kilkenny, delved into her family history she found a dark secret. Her grandfather left her grandmother and their six children, in the early years of the last century and went off to America where he resettled, remarried and had another family. “We just don’t know why he did it,” she said.
It is one of the episodes recounted in her absorbing book, Not Forgotten, which will be published shortly. The book will be launched in the Book Centre, High Street, Kilkenny on Tuesday, December 13.
Not Forgotten traces the growth of one family from a small Irish town to a wide network stretching across the world. In 1920’s Ireland, a whirlwind romance ends in pain, heartbreak, and poverty for one young woman. This pain will echo down through generations of sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers; leaving the family broken and scattered.
This is the story of Kitty, a girl who suffered throughout her life and yet managed to grow into a strong, independent woman. It is also the story of the Irish Diaspora; the lives, loves and losses of the thousands who left their homes and families behind to seek their fortune abroad. Most importantly, it is the story of a family.