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