by R.J. Palacio
This is a Young Adult book, and a modern-day Romeo and Juliet story of sorts. As an American, its hard to imagine the intensity of the discord that continues to this day in Belfast and parts of Northern Ireland. The Peace Wall is not only a historic reminder of “The Troubles”, but still truly relevant and representative of a very divided city.
As an American living in Dublin, its hard to fathom the hatred which continues between Catholics and Protestants in the North. Its not something typically dealt with, or talked about, in the Republic of Ireland.
This story takes a naïve American girl, and shoves her into the sordid past she knows nothing about. Her Irish family is very much Catholic, her father fighting made bombs for the IRA, something she struggles to understand. Then, she meets and ultimately falls Danny, a boy from over the wall…a Protestant. Fiona has no idea what she is getting into when she falls for Danny; nor the danger it can bring to both of them. Excellent read, great insight for people living outside Ireland.