Daughter of the Storm: Irish horror for brave young readers
Tina Callaghan’s gothic mystery set on an island off Ireland heaps drama upon drama
“The girl, the creature, whatever she was, had the baby. She was cradling him in one pale arm, holding him close to her body. She was alien to the cosy room. White, sharp, somehow perfect. Becky looked down. What appeared to be a flimsy lace dress was long feathers. Her feet were concealed beneath, but as she swayed with the baby, Becky saw that they were bare and ended in talons. They stood in a tableau, with the music-box waltz winding slowly down.”
Mixing horror, legend and the supernatural, Tina Callaghan’s second novel is a high-octane story set on an unnamed island off Ireland. Daughters of the Storm comes billed by its publisher, Poolbeg, as crossover fiction but a melodramatic plot and tendency to guide the reader place it firmly in the young adult genre. Oscar Wilde’s remarks on sentimentality – desiring the luxury of an emotion without paying for it – are equally true of melodrama. For a book to be truly dramatic, the reader needs tension and, crucially, to care about the characters.