It’s always an honour to start off a blog tour, especially when it’s for a book sitting on my TBR pile awaiting reading. Today I’m delighted to welcome Ruth Kirby-Smith to stay in with me to tell me all about her debut novel. My enormous thanks to Grace Pilkington for inviting me to participate.
Staying in with Ruth Kirby-Smith
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Ruth and thank you for agreeing to stay in with me. Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
I have brought The Settlement which is my first novel published in February 2021. The book crosses several genres as it has romance, history, murder and mystery but it is mainly classified as a historical novel. 1921 is the 100th anniversary of the division of Ireland and The Settlement is set in a village on the border between N Ireland and Eire in the 1910s. The central character is a woman who is free thinking and independent and it follows the dramatic events of her life in those turbulent times.
What can we expect from an evening in with The Settlement?
I have been a total bookworm all my life and what I want from a book is interesting characters, a gripping story and to learn about a time or place which I knew nothing about.
I think all readers would agree Ruth.
That is what I have tried to do in The Settlement. I started writing it when my father died and somehow I managed to run a business, a home and write the book. I am not quite sure how I managed it, but I was enthralled by his family background and the historical events in the Ireland of his parents. I lost the book when my computer broke but then found the manuscript in 2017 when clearing my office. I knew then that I had to finish the book and publish it. Readers can expect a real page turner from the start, and they will learn some interesting social and political history. The main character is very flawed but in the end her loyalty to her husband and stepson redeems her.
What a fabulous way to commemorate your father Ruth. I’m sure he would have been really proud that you’ve got The Settlement to publication in spite of all the obstacles.
What else have you brought along and why have you brought it?
I would bring a bottle of Ribera del Duero, a photograph of my dad and his brother Tom as boys and I would listen to some music by Dire Straits.
Hmm. I’m more of a Roxy Music person myself but as it’s your evening I’ll put up with Dire Straights as it seems an apt group given the troubles you endured writing The Settlement!
What I would really love is to have my grandfather there to tell me what happened between him and my grandmother and why they lived within 3 miles of each other for more than two decades but never met or spoke.
Now that is intriguing. Families eh? Thanks so much for staying in with me to chat about The Settlement Ruth. I’m so pleased I have a copy waiting to be read as I think it sounds just my kind of book.
You pour a glass of wine and turn up the music and I’ll give blog readers a few more details about The Settlement:
Olivia returns home for her grandmother Sarah’s funeral in 1984. Sarah was a loving matriarch in the village of Lindara. So why would someone spit at her coffin?
In 1910 Sarah marries Theo, a widower deeply involved in the anti-home rule movement. She promises to keep her personal views private.
One night in 1914 Sarah and her stepson Samuel are unintentionally drawn into gunrunning, which compromises her principles.
Published by 2QT, The Settlement is available for purchase here.
About Ruth Kirby-Smith
Ruth Kirby-Smith grew up in Northern Ireland and studied politics at Queen’s University, Belfast during the civil rights era. Ruth is a successful businesswoman who has worked in City planning in London and planning research at Cambridge University, and founded a renowned baby products company. In retirement, she decided to look into her family history. The Settlement is her first book.