White Feathers

White Feathers

A story of passion, betrayal, war – and resistance



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O’Brien Press


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What do you do when forced to make an impossible choice?

Eva Downey jumps at the chance to attend finishing school, especially as she is about to be pushed into marriage by her overbearing stepmother. At the school she finds kinship, and, unexpectedly, love. But when war breaks out in 1914, her family are pushing her into giving the man she loves a white feather of cowardice, because he refuses to enlist. Eva’s decision will have devastating consequences for her – and everyone around her.

Shortlisted for the Romantic Novel of the Year Award in 2015, White Feathers is “a beautiful, complex and engrossing book with a strong romantic and idealistic heart.” – Ivan O’Brien, The O’Brien Press.


The first thing that appealed to me when turning the opening pages, was the fluidity of the words. They slipped across the page, like a satin scarf slipping off the back of a chair…This elegance didn’t fade once throughout the novel. This book has a bit of everything. The most powerful thing it does possess; soul. Good, old-fashioned, soul. – Review at Bleach House Library blog – also on writing.ie

An impressive addition to the canon of world war novels and a cracking good read. – The Writes of Woman

Eva is a fascinating and well drawn character, her terrible choices stark and unrelenting, the knock on effects of which will be long reaching…really well done and kept me turning the pages – Liz Loves Books (Goodreads review here)

A classic, old-fashioned romance…and wonderful read. – Liz Nugent, author of Unravelling Oliver.

All in all, an excellent novel, vivid, immediate, and packing an emotional punch, and one that should be equally appealing to WWI buffs, romantics, and literary readers. – A Trip to Ireland

Though this is an intense love story it would do it a disservice to describe it solely in just that way. It is …a bravura performance of effortless elegance that beautifully imitates the speech and manners of the era. More please. – Irish Echo Australia

This story beautifully flows from Eva’s teenage years to her becoming a toughened young woman who sees death before she experiences love and pleasure and life again comes full circle for her – Bharti at 27 Book Street

In the window seat of my favorite cafe, perched above D’Olier Street with the novel open on my lap, rain lashed the glass beside me while I read and read and read. White Feathers was so intense and addictive that my tea went cold and unnoticed – Liz Maguire – American Author blog

Delivers passion and betrayal with a bang…a complicated novel set in that most complex of times: the lead-up to and outbreak of World War I. – Sunday Independent

a sweeping and engrossing tale of love, betrayal and death … masterful – Sunday Times Culture Choice of the Week

Susan Lanigan…is a gifted young writer and White Feathers is an admirable debut – Irish Independent

A tender and intelligent debut, highlighting a little known aspect of World War One – Sue Leonard, Irish Examiner

An exciting new voice in Irish literature…Like another female author exploring the place of women in historical context, Sarah Waters, [Lanigan is] interested in strong narrative underpinned with human complexity – Brian Finnegan, novelist, author of The Forced Redundancy Film Club

White Feathers is a beautiful story about a difficult love that keeps burning strong even though there are so many obstacles. I couldn’t stop reading until I knew what would happen to both of them…They each have a place in my heart. – Review at Lavender and Suzanne book blog

This is a wonderful novel of love, war, family and duty and for me was one of the outstanding debuts of the year. – Lisa Reads Books

beautifully written, with strong attention to detail and a real authenticity to the storyline…There is no doubt that this is a really good debut novel from a talented new author and I’m sure that White Feathers will stand out from the crowd of WW1 novels in this centenary year. – Review at Jaffareadstoo reader blog

Proving that assault and conflict can be cunningly insidious as well as glaringly obvious, this is an intense and stirring debut novel. – Lovereading.co.uk

Gives an insight into the incomprehensible choices people were forced to make during that time. – Trade review, Guardian Bookshop

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