”A conventional romance in a very unconventional context. Although the political situation always remains firmly in the background, it still presses in more and more tightly on the young couple. There is a very real feeling that they are battling against the forces of evil, forces which are the same on both sides of the barricades. Nevertheless the pair will not give in and emerge, through their courage and obstinacy, as the real freedom fighters.” This is what the author said about the book, I think she describes the book very well. At the same time as the book is thrilling, she let the persons in the book fall in love with each other at the same time, as none of them is willing to give up what they stand for. Even when all odds are against their relationship, even their parents are against them, they will not give each other up, they want peace.
The persons we meet in the book is many, so I’ll try to only take the main character with in the summary:
Kevin McCoy: Is a patriot to his religion and country, but he begins to doubt that fighting does any good at all. He is as his father says: ”He is like a women, he wants peace for every price”. He is willing to turn against his friends, only because he is in love with a girl. He works in a scrapyard, and that is getting him into trouble. He got two girls after him, one Protestant girl, Sadie, and one Catholic girl, Kate. He likes Sadie; he looks at Kate, as she is a strenuous girl.
Sadie Jackson: She is also a patriot to her religion and country, she has never thought that fighting is a solution for the conflict. She turn down her job to see Kevin, she is always looking for solutions to conflict’s, beyond war, and fighting. She used to work in a hat department, when she gets fired she start working with housekeeping, she does not get any trouble because of that, but they she works for gets trouble.
Brede McCoy: Brede is shy but sometimes a resolute person. She says her opinion if she thinks it is the right time for it. She’s fair and loyal towards Sadie and the other "Prods". She is without hate and prejudice. I think, she likes Sadie because she wants to be as courageous and self-confident as her.
Brian Rafferty: Brian used to be a friend of Kevin, but when Kevin dosen’t want to fight he calls Kevin a coward. After this, they are enemies. Brian belongs to the Catholic side. They used to do everything together, for example the "wall-painting", but they are different. Kevin used to be the boss and Brian was his assistant. Sometimes Brian gets on Kevin’s nerves. Kate: Kate is Brede’s best friend. She lives in a rich family, her father owns a small business, a scrapyard, that is the place Kevin works. She is jealous at Sadie and does not like that Kevin go out with someone from the ”Prods”. Kate is sweet on him, anyway.
Tommy Jackson: Tommy is Sadie’s brother. He’s a loyal Protestant not like Sadie. He has a courageous character. Tommy’s’ girlfriend is Linda.
Linda Mullet: Linda is Tommy’s boyfriend. She is jealous at Sadie because she has so many friends and is so popular. She always makes a lot of trouble for Sadie. She thinks that fighting is the one and only solution for the conflict. Mr and Mrs Jackson: Mr and Mrs Jackson are proud of their religion. Mr Jackson works in the yards and Mrs Jackson is a housewife. Mr Jackson is a member of ”The Orange Lodge”. They are both upsets over their children when they refuse to do, as they want them to do.
Mr and Mrs McCoy: They are loyal Catholics and dislike the conflict. The only thing they care about is that their own children do not get hurt. The book starts with Kevin walking across the barricade in Belfast that is the time when he meets Sadie. Later in the book we get to know that three years earlier they knew each other, as friends. They got to know each other because Brede were hurtled in one of the fights three years earlier, that’s the time Sadie and Tommy got to know Kevin and Brede.
We also get to hear about Sadie and Kevin, when they meet at the barricade. We also follow them at their first date. Even though this we hear about how there parents act when they hear about their relationship. We hear all about how the different characters act when they hear about the couple. They meet several people but it is only two of them that are nice to them. However, they also meet Linda several times and she makes their lives’ to a living hell. The persons that helps them are: Mr Blake, Sadie’s old teacher, and Kevin’s’ Uncle Albert.
Kevin’s’ parents took it good, and didn’t bother. However, when Sadies’ parents questioned it out from Linda, they got mad and needed a brandy to get over the shock. When Sadie returned from her first meeting with Kevin, they wanted her to promise not to see Kevin again, but she did not bother about that.