“Northern Branches” – a quick peek

This coming of age novel focuses on the story of Kitty, a young Protestant Northern Irish girl, exposed to the turbulent political landscape of the 1970s and 80s. In this idyllic, rural setting, IRA sectarian terrorism and religion polarizes opinions and restricts Kitty.

Kitty experiences the cinematic horror of the “Troubles” far too often. The resulting pressure damages Kitty and unravels her multi-generational, larger-than-life family. Northern Branches explores the notion of family loyalty no matter what the odds.

Kitty becomes a solitary, introspective teen who realizes that she is surrounded by mysteries and secrets. Her search for understanding and truth brings surprising results. Education offers the only escape from Ireland’s fraught politics, and rigid attitudes.

After the sudden death of a close family member, vulnerability and grief hamper Kitty’s good sense. Can one misguided act destroy Kitty’s very future and once close relationship with her brother Michael? Kitty faces a growing number of dangers. Will tendrils of hope emerge in Kitty’s darkened world? Will she accept her limitations? Can she embrace tenacity and courage to make an unspeakable sacrifice to protect her family?

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About Jackie Cartwright

Jackie Cartwright spent her childhood in Northern Ireland, during the Troubles, in a farming town called Limavady, where “Northern Branches” takes place. She is a former English and Theatre Studies high-school teacher, who attended Leeds and Oxford University. She taught in London for five years, finishing as a Department Head. She has worked as an Assistant Director for successful British TV dramas such as “Daylight Robbery”, and dabbled as a radio presenter for an English hospital radio. This novelist ‘wanna be’ lives in New York with her husband, a hungry Guinea Pig, five goldfish and two small kids. She fell in love with the U.S.A while working at a Summer Camp in Maine and during a semester at Ripon College Wisconsin as part of her B.A. She is active in several local not-for-profit organizations, acting as a mentor at Women Care and as the leader of the Westchester Chapter of the Holistic Moms Network for four years. She adores volunteering for WNYC New York Public Radio and is an active PTA member. Jackie partners with the Sound Shore Writers Group in Rye, and has attended several writing courses at Sarah Lawrence and Gotham Writers Workshop. She teachers writing when she finds the time. On her Tumblr blog, www.egotasticearthmom@tumblr.com, Jackie shares her Irish wit, a passion for writing, and holistic parenting. “Northern Branches” is her debut novel.
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