One of the first works of fiction to feature murder-suicide and its aftermath has just been published.

Author and Irish Examiner journalist Ann O’Loughlin, who launched her latest novel, The Ludlow Ladies’ Society last night, said the spectre of murder-suicide has loomed over this country, particularly rural Ireland, in the past decade and it was an issue she had to tackle.

“It was difficult to research and in parts to write, but essentially this novel is an uplifting read,” she said.

“This book is all about the resilience of women and how the bonds of friendship support and renew. The women work on memory quilts, each confronting the secrets of the past, holding each other up along the way.”

Even though there is a very serious issue at the heart of the novel, she says there is also humour.

The author of the bestselling The Ballroom Café and The Judge’s Wife said the reception from the blogging community has already been very good and she expects her readers to take on the issue, as they have done with her previous novels.

The Ludlow Ladies’ Society is really an examination of how women hold each other up and support each other, even through the worst times,” she said.

Ms O’Loughlin, whose novels have been translated into eight languages and published in the US, said as she researched the phenomenon of murder-suicide, she found the crime no longer became her focus and instead she concentrated on the strength of those left behind.

“It was humbling to see how those left behind could pick up the pieces and in some way rebuild broken and shattered lives. I became fascinated at the inner strength of mothers left with nothing but questions.”


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