Ireland in the 1880s.
It wasn’t all bad. The slums of Dublin were the worst in Europe. In the country, evicted tenants were living alongside the roads and sometimes even in the trees.
But the fortunate few, some of whom were Catholics, were enjoying a similar lifestyle to their upper middle class contemporaries in England, living in attractive houses, employing servants and sending their children to private schools.
Sometimes they faced other torments: family feuds, usually over land, hatred, envy, even murder…
A WRONG TO SWEETEN and its sequel A HERITAGE OF WRONG deal with the theme of inherited evil. When the lives of two Limerick schoolfriends, Milliora Fitzgibbon and Rosaleen O’Flynn, are entwined with the those of the well-to-do O’Brien brothers, feckless Tom and ambitious Dermot, they soon find that envy can turn to madness and that love and hatred, loyalty and betrayal, can breed side by side.
It’s their friendship which sustains them. What they see in each other is an enigma to everyone but themselves. Rosaleen, scholarly and idealistic, dreams of social justice for Ireland – Milliora is indifferent both to Ireland’s great literary tradition and the political wrongs it has suffered.
Yet, as scandal and hatred darken their lives and the evil which threatens them seeps down to poison and corrupt the next generation, their friendship survives and deepens.
Joy Martin was born in Limerick. A former journalist, she is the author of eight novels.