Michael Cumiskey

An Undiscovered Country

Initially the context of the story is the conflict in Ireland and in some ways the troubles
of Lorna and her family reflect that situation. Lorna Donnelly is the eldest in a family
of four children: Catholics living in a Loyalist region of Belfast. The story originates at the
time of the first IRA ceasefire and culminates about the time of the Peace Accord some
37 years later. Mr. Donnelly is killed by the IRA and his wife decides to migrate with
her children to England. She meets and marries Jimmy Ungerside, a butcher. Jimmy is a
serial child abuser and to varying degrees the whole family suffer at his hands, especially
Lorna. The effect on the girl's development and later on her career is seen as an echo in
tandem of the 'Troubles' The same is also true of her sister and two brothers. Each chapter
includes a contemporaneous news report and an excerpt from Lorna's diary each linked
by some similar notion of abuse. Lorna eventually marries but the episodes that torment
her psychology continue despite concentrated periods of treatment. It is not until she is
made aware of another significant cause that there is finally some hope of real recovery.

324 printed pages
Original publication
Authors Press



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