It is Christmas eve in 1914 and all along the western front soldiers are settling down for a night of disturbed sleep, foraging rats, and the evil attentions of enemy snipers. Suddenly from across No Mans Land comes the sound of singing. not sure at first what is happening the troops look at each other in disbelief and then slowly, they join in.
Jim O’Halloran’s latest novel is set in the trenches of World War I and it tells the story of Irish soldiers in British uniforms, fighting Germans, to win Home Rule for Ireland. Their various motivations and reasons for being at war are exposed as they meet with the enemy for the first and only time – young men just like themselves with wives, sweethearts, dreams, and secrets. Suddenly, the inhumanity of war is slowly exposed for what it is.
The complex issue of the Irish at the front is developed as some of the soldiers return to Ireland after the war, some injured physically, but all impacted emotionally and psychologically. Through some of his characters, Jim O’Halloran also looks at the plight of animals during the war including soldiers’ pets and the carrier pigeons used by all armies to carry messages on the battlefields.
About the Author
James O’ Halloran is a Salesian priest who has been involved with small groups for most of his life. Over the last thirty years, however, his specific apostolate has been the fostering of these small groups worldwide, as member, coordinator, and promoter.