My novel,  Ashes of Fiery Weather is forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in August 2016.

It is about the women of a Brooklyn, New York family of firefighters whose stories interconnect across generations, from the last night of the City of Brooklyn, New Year’s Eve, 1898, to ten years after September 11th.

Delia, abandoned by her own mother, marries in haste after Pearl Harbor, desperate for a family of her own.  In 1982, after a five-year court fight, Delia’s daughter, Eileen, graduates in the F.D.N.Y’s first class of women firefighters. When Delia’s son is killed in the line of duty in ’83, he leaves behind three children and his Irish-born wife, Norah. Their oldest, Maggie, is nineteen years old when she gives up her daughter for adoption rather than remain tied to the neighborhood and her boyfriend who wants only to join his father and brothers on the F.D.N.Y.


  “A tale of New York that transcends New York, Kathleen Donohoe’s The Ashes of Fiery Weather is a riveting, finely crafted combination of gritty realism and graceful, poignant prose. With insight, compassion and unblinking honesty, she gives us the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. Donohoe’s debut novel is a triumph. A star is born.”

–  Peter Quinn, author of Banished Children of Eve




5 thoughts on “welcome”

  1. Love your About page. Looking forward to reading more. Best to you~

  2. I was born in Brooklyn, New York, the youngest of five kids. We lived on Crown Street btwn. Rogers & Nostrand. Not far from Medgar Evers.

    I was not named after my mother. I was named Deirdre. Which, the pronunciation, to many, is still a mystery. When I was confirmed I chose my mother’s confirmation name, Margaret. Because I wanted something ‘normal.’

    Two of my brothers are red-headed with blue eyes. One brother and one sister are brunettes with hazel eyes. My husband has blue eyes & so do our two kids. We live in Massachusetts, but want to live in Texas!

    I just loved your bio. & found the similarities & differences funny, so I couldn’t resist adding mine!

    • Thanks for reading and thanks for sharing! I’ve always loved the name Deirdre and I used it in my novel. It’s really funny that you grew up on Crown Street–my father grew up in a brownstone on Rogers Avenue, though in the 50’s & 60’s. Small world, I guess.

  3. I, too, am Irish. My grandparents came from County Cork. I’ve never heard anyone metion St. Dymphna – she’s one of my favorite saints. I had a little mass card with her picture on it, but I gave it to my sister. She’s suffering from anxiety attacks, so I figured she needs it more than I.

    I really like your writing!

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