Longford Author’s Debut a Turn Up for the Books

bernice barringtonA thrilling page-turner which keeps the reader guessing from beginning to end, Bernice Barrington’s debut novel ‘Sisters and Lies’, published by Penguin Ireland, was released in March of this year, to great acclaim.

The story centres on two sisters, Rachel and Evie, the latter of whom is in a coma following a car crash. Everyone, including the police, believes that the crash was either an accident or a suicide attempt, but Rachel isn’t convinced, particularly when she discovers that Evie has been living with her childhood bully and has been concealing her identity from him.

The book is written as a dual narrative, as Rachel searches for answers and Evie desperately tries to remember what happened and communicate with her sister, and is set between London, Dublin and Leitrim.

It has received rave reviews from fans and fellow writers alike – including Marian Keyes, who dubbed it “head and shoulders above the rest” – and Bernice is thrilled with the reaction.

“Obviously, getting the quote from Marian was amazing, and by and large the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads have been very positive,” she stated, admitting; “I was dreading the inevitable one-star ratings but there have been mercifully few of those”.

Beyond the great reviews, the book has also re-connected Bernice with many old friends and acquaintances, and she has received many Facebook photos showing the book being read on sun loungers around the world.

“Basically the whole experience has been overwhelmingly positive and I’m still trying to process all the good will and positivity that has been directed my way,” Bernice continued. “The other amazing thing is that it has given me a feeling of legitimacy about my writing. Making any kind of creative work can be so lonely and difficult – but the reaction has made me feel the hard work was worthwhile.”

A native of Aughnacliffe, north Longford, Bernice (née Mulligan) cut her writing teeth at the Longford Leader, where she worked as a journalist for almost two years. She then went on to work as sub-editor and editor at a magazine publishing company before taking on the role of Media Project Manager at Zahra Media Group.

Based in Dublin, where she lives with her husband Brian and their beautiful daughter Lily, who was born mere months after the release of ‘Sisters and Lies’, Bernice has certainly had a busy year.

“I was on the TV3 show Midday as a panellist promoting the book in June,” Bernice revealed. “I also wrote the article in the Irish Independent about the Leaving Cert and did the follow up interview with Kathryn Thomas on the Ray D’Arcy show.”

Just a month after publication, ‘Sisters and Lies’ was part of the Eason/Pat Kenny Book Club for the month of April, and Bernice is due to feature in the Sunday Times for an article about writers and their writing desks.

In terms of writing desks, Bernice’s has changed slightly since welcoming baby Lily this summer.

“I am in the very early stages of a new idea,” she revealed, “in between nappy changes and feeds!

“Needless to say, we are beyond smitten and (touching every piece of wood possible) she has been a wonderful baby – sleeping well and generally being an absolute treasure. I know it’s going to be challenging combining writing and motherhood, but I’m (optimistically/naively) hoping it will all work out!”
For more information on ‘Sisters and Lies’, which is now available as an audiobook through Bolinda, or to contact Bernice, see: Facebook.com/bernicebarringtonauthor; Twitter @beebarrington or visit www.bernicebarrington.com.

‘Sisters and Lies’ will also be coming out in the UK in Spring 2017.