Sunday, 4 March 2012

Bear in mind these dead

Susan McKay
Bear in mind these dead
Susan McKay’s book explores the difficult aftermath of the violence for families, friends and communities. By interviewing those who loved the missing and the dead, as well as some who narrowly survived, McKay gives a voice to those who are too often overlooked in the political histories. She has found grief and rage, as well as forgiveness. Some long to forget, others cannot rest until they find out the truth. Some demand a measure of justice. They face formidable odds, for there are those with strong interests in keeping parts of the history of the Troubles in the dark. The devolved government in Northern Ireland is working towards a new future for all the people. This book is a moving and important contribution to that process. Only by confronting the brutality of the past can there be any hope that the dead may finally be laid to rest.

1 comment:

  1. Bailieborough library book club discussed Bear in Mind These Dead by Susan McKay on Thursday March, 29.
    From the start it was obvious that the book had made a lasting impression on everybody who had read it.
    We all agreed that it was an important book with an even more important message. While all we ever read in the newspapers are the headlines shortly after an atrocity has taken place, we rarely hear anything about the aftermath. This book does exactly that; it allows people to tell, in their own words, how the troubles in the North and the losses associated with them, affected their lives in the long run. And we all thought it was good to read not just about the troubles but also about the changes in people’s lives in more recent times, since the peace-process has been underway.

    Another thing we were all in agreement about is that this is not an easy book to read. Because every personal story narrated in the book is one of loss and pain this is not a book to be read quickly. On the other hand it is a book that stays with the reader for a long time after the last page has been read.

    Finally we noted that although this is a book specifically about the troubles in Northern Ireland, this is of course and unfortunately not a story unique to that part of the world. It would be possible to write a similar book about a place like Bosnia for example. As such this is a book that would be of interest to an audience both on this island and in the rest of the world.