HISTORIC ROMANCE MEETS IRISH FOLKLORE: New novel blends rich Irish history with a stirring love story
The past can be a mysterious thing – a colorful tale woven with threads of fact, legend, and myth. Even our own histories become a blend of half-truths and misremembered things over time. Who can trust a memory? Especially when it involves strange occurrences and alluring forces reaching out from the realm of the supernatural…
So begins Cliff of the Ruin, the debut novel of Bonnie McKernan – a historical novel seeped in the rich history of Ireland and its folklore. When Civil War hero and New York lawyer William Teague takes on an unusual new case, little does he expect to find himself crossing the Atlantic to unravel a mystery that will draw him into a “thin place” of Irish legend. He follows the spirited Mae Kendrick into this mystery as she searches for the truth of her past, her strange visions, and the disappearance of a man she supposedly married. McKernan draws upon her extensive research while living in Ireland to craft a vivid portrait of the country and its legends.
“The story takes us from a New Jersey farm and a Manhattan law office to the back roads of Ireland,” says McKernan, “where we encounter the Irish shee or fairy race, and enter a place outside of time via an ancient monastic ruin. But the appeal of the story, the heart of it, is centered around how my characters wrestle with regret, bitterness, fear, and forbidden love – journeys that go far beyond action and reaction.”
Early reviews have praised Cliff of the Ruin for its strong characters and rich backdrop, with Kirkus Reviews saying “Celebrates Irish culture...bound to entertain." It is a story about how otherworldly powers, good and bad, believed or not believed, influence the choices we make. It’s about finding strength in unlikely places. It’s about seeing the inextricable tie between forgiveness, healing, and moving forward.
With a BA degree in art and business, Bonnie McKernan started her career as an advertising executive before making the unconventional switch to copywriter years later. Cliff of the Ruin is her first novel, begun during her time living in Dublin, Ireland. Today, she lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and three children.