Girl in the Making by Anna Fitzgerald

We are delighted to have a piece by Anna Fitzgerald for Girl in the Making. This coming-of-age tale is about a gentle girl called Jean Kennedy growing up in suburban Dublin in the 1970s and ’80s alongside her mother, her Aunty Ida, and her little brother Baby John F. She shares a few words below.

I grew up in an Ireland that now seems almost a foreign country. Wives were for the handling of husbands, their ambitions subject to men’s authority and men’s entitlement; and an unmarried woman was seen as a comical, unfulfilled figure. When I started writing the novel that became Girl in the Making, I wanted to tell a story of a household in this Ireland, from the perspective of a vulnerable child.

Girk in the Making

My narrator, Jean Kennedy, takes the reader into her most intimate confidence, inviting you to listen to the things that she dares not speak to anyone else; to accompany her as she grows up in this strange and confusing world into which she must somehow fit – no matter the cost to herself.

As Jean grows up, the language she uses grows up with her.  The voice I created in the first few pages is intended to establish something that for me feels very important: a three-year-old has personhood, memory and an innate morality. I wanted the book to be utterly centred on the child. While Jean has none of the power, she has all of the voice.

You can now pre-order Girl in the Making by Anna Fitzgerald.

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