Page 29. " my mute screaming in my convertible Saab in the airport car park "

Veronica drives a Saab 93 which would place her firmly in the ranks of the wealthier end of Irish society. The Saab is a sleek solid Swedish car - renowned for its reliability and comfort. Dublin Airport is on the northside of Dublin and so would be part of her old stomping ground growing up.

 

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Page 30. " drift out of the Gresham or the Savoy Grill "

The Gresham is an internationally famous hotel founded in 1817 on Dublin's main thoroughfare, O'Connell Street. It would be regarded as an upmarket hotel (indeed there are some who claim it should be on the south side of the river!)and particularly so in 1925, the period when Ada, Charlie and Lamb Nugent made each others acquaintance. All the places Veronica writes about - the Rotunda, Conways, Parnell Street are within five minutes walk of the Gresham.

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Page 34. " He sits back into the Bullnose Morris and picks up his driving gloves Quote "

The Bullnose Morris was a motor car made by the Morris Motor Co of the United Kingdom in the first thirty years of the twentieth century. A motor car was a great luxury in Dublin at that time and driving one of these would certainly have given Charlie great kudos. We are told it is not quite Charlie's car but we can assume that the man who left it with him is not coming back. Ada would have been suitably impressed to be taken for a ride in a car such as this, it would have indicated that Charlie 'had a few bob' and was therfore something of a catch.

Page 39. " Liam, my brother, spent most of his working life as a hospital porter in the Hampstead Royal Free' "

The fact that Liam had a job as a porter in this hospital would indicate that something was amiss. Veronica herself is a journalist and there are indications throughout the novel that the other siblings all did well, went to college, and had careers which reflected that. Liam appears to have fallen through the cracks, he went to England at a young age to work, as far away from his past as he could get. He earned enough to keep body and soul together and drank what was left. He liked his work and we can imagine he was that cheerful type of hospital porter who wheels patients to and from operating rooms chatting to them and making them smile. A facade to cover the aching void inside him. The Hampstead Royal Free is a large public teaching hospital in London, an easy place to get lost in - to achieve anonymity.

Page 41. " Haywards Heath Wivelsfield Burgess Hill Hassocks "

Veronica finds the English placenames twee and silly, perhaps because she would have had a childhood populated by names such as these through reading the books written by Enid Blyton,  a prolific British children's writer whose novels were the mainstay of many an Irish child's library. Veronica expresses surprise that the Downs exist; again perhaps because they had been such a part of the imagination of her childhood.

Page 46. " we were sent with our little sister, Kitty, to stay with Ada in Broadstone "

Broadstone , Constitution Hill and the Basin are all in an area of north city Dublin. Ada would have lived in a house similar to the one above. The Dublin Bus Depot was in Broadstone and a large statue of Our Lady, paid for by the men working there, is still perched on a wall facing onto Constitution Hill.

 

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