Friend or Foe

Friend or Foe coverIt’s time to choose: friendship, family or loyalty to the cause.

When Emer Davey saves her neighbour Jack Madigan from drowning, it seems that they will be friends forever. But eight months later, they find themselves on opposite sides in a life-or-death struggle, as Dublin is torn apart by the Easter Rising.

Emer’s father is an officer in the Irish Volunteers who believes that armed rebellion is the only way to gain independence from Britain. His daughter has inherited his passion and is determined to help the rebels in any way she can.

Jack’s dad is a sergeant in the Dublin Metropolitan Police. They share a deep respect for the law and are sure that Home Rule can be achieved through peaceful politics and helping with the war effort.

These two young friends find their loyalties challenged as the terrifying reality of war sets in – and the Rising hits closer to home than either could have imagined.


What the reviewers say:

a fast moving and informative read

Sunday Independent

beautiful writing, great character development, fascinating … a page-turner that is difficult to put down … a compelling and rewarding reading experience

Voya Magazine

lets readers draw their own conclusions about the political issues while showing that friendship remains more important than law. A lovely and well-written novel whose appeal stateside may be limited by American readers’ unfamiliarity with this historic event

Kirkus Reviews

Gallagher is to be commended for deviating from the dominant narrative in his representation of the Rising … a refreshingly ambivalent reading of the Rising that will be welcome to anyone interested in Irish history

Children’s Books Ireland Recommended Reading Guide

would make a great introduction to the historical period for young readers and could be very useful as a springboard for further learning on the period and I have no doubt it will be a popular choice in homes and classrooms given this and next year’s 1916 commemoration celebrations

a vivid novel on 1916 for senior classes … Brian Gallagher has written a fast-moving historical novel … this book would be ideal for the senior classes as an introduction to the Easter Rising

InTouch Magazine

this is a fast moving, exciting, and informative historical novel … this book will help teenagers to understand the Rising of 1916 and what formed the Republic … extremely well-written … by a skilled Irish writer, who sees both sides … In an age when forgiveness and reconciliation are too rare in the popular media, it is refreshing to read of youthful kindness and courage, duty and family unity. This is the best children’s book I’ve seen

Historical Novel Society

an exciting adventure story … captures the atmosphere of revolution-torn Dublin

Irish Examiner

this timely historical novel offers an insight into one of the defining moments in Irish history through the use of strong fictional characters with whom readers can empathise

Evening Echo