About The Author
Mel O’Dea is both an artist, having exhibited both solo and joint, in London and Ireland, and a writer and poet having had two books published as well as having contributed to various magazines. She is also an advocate of human rights having campaigned for the Anti-Apartheid movement since her student days at Durham University in the late 1980s. Having had an eclectic education in both the arts and sciences, her initial career was in microelectronics. Mel now lives in Mallow, Co Cork, Ireland, and shares her accommodation with a Yellow Labrador named Poseidon. Driftwood Memories, styled as a contemporary "Romeo and Juliet" story explores the theme of the outsider and is set in Ireland and London. It is written in an experimental poetic style that aims to emphasize the feelings of the main characters in the story.
About The Book
Driftwood Memories is a moving story about a doomed and tragic love affair that nonetheless ends on a note of hope for the future. It explores the theme of the outsider and is about a young man called, John, who is devastated at the loss of his girlfriend with whom he is deeply in love.
The novel takes place in the cultural environment of Ireland in the 1980s and this adds significance to the class differences and other barriers between the two lovers. When Mary, the heroine, becomes pregnant, the outcome is catastrophic for the couple involved, and this is not helped by attempts of both families to cover up the situation as if it had never occurred.
John who has meanwhile become a student in the north of England is shattered by the anticipation of tragedy and goes on a self-destructive and aimlessly wandering quest for meaning in his agony in the less salubrious areas of London’s East End. For a short time he is engaged in menial employment and there are vivid descriptions of the football hooligan culture where he finds some kind of consolation until he is drawn into the vicious milieu of a racist movement which disgusts him and brings him to the verge of a nervous breakdown.
He is reduced to feeling that he has been stripped of the meaning of life by the violence and nihilism into which he has fallen. During a period of homelessness during which he lives on the street, he is eventually arrested and sent to prison for knifing a tormenter On release, he returns to Ireland to seek out Mary and his child, but is confronted by another tragedy before the book finally concludes on a note of hope. In repudiating the futility of violence, he re-discovers a cause for happiness in the future.