Irish Women: Goddesses & Banshees

DSC00462Ireland girls' trip 2011 198One of the most surprising things I learned while writing Shanty Gold happened on my first trip to Ireland.


All of a sudden, the women looked like me or like my mother or my aunts. They had my hair—bushy and unmanageable around water of any kind (nice shot, God—considering Ireland is an island where rain is always nearby), my blue eyes, my fair skin (never tans, only burns) and my easy laughter.


There was an instant affinity between me and them. They’re hard headed and stubborn but at their core, sweet and mushy as soda bread.


I think Irish women need to be tough because frankly, so many of their men spend too much time in pubs.


Don’t get me wrong—I love nothing better than an Irish pub myself, but two visits to the same pub often reveal the same men seated at the bar as you just saw the day before.


Irish women, descended from goddesses and banshees, are amazing women, I think. In Shanty Gold, Mary Boland demonstrates characteristics from both these archetypes.


Tell me about your heritage. What does your blood tell you about your ancestral females?