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A Husband’s Confession – Sibling Rivalry
Picture the scene: It’s a cold Christmas Eve in suburban Galway. A Moses basket has been found inside the door of the local church. Tucked up inside, swaddled in a blue blanket, a two-day old infant boy is sleeping peacefully. He has been abandoned by his mother. She has left a note in the basket asking her baby to forgive her as she is unable to care for him and wants him to go to a good home.
The image of a baby, abandoned on Christmas Eve, would clutch at your heart strings. It melted the heart of Mr and Mrs Kennedy, who adopted the baby and called him Max.
The couple already had one young son, four-year old Finn. They couldn’t have any more children and wanted Finn to have a brother. But Finn didn’t have such a heart-tugging beginning. His birth nearly killed his mother. A quiet and introverted child, he had started school before Max arrived on the scene and so naturally, he felt supplanted, with his nose most definitely out of joint.
A perfect recipe for classic sibling rivalry and the breeding ground for a host of childhood resentments. Very often it stays there, fading away as children move into adulthood. Other times it festers away in the background, lying deeply buried, only to resurface during a catalytic event. For storytellers since the beginning of time, sibling rivalry has also been the rich breeding ground for a huge array of fictional drama.
Max Kennedy grows up big and strong, comfortable in his own skin. He’s good at football, laid back, full of charm. He always makes his adoptive parents laugh, and keeps them amused. Finn grows up feeling inferior in the shadow of his younger brother, and the fact that they are like chalk and cheese helps to keep them drifting even further apart. They don’t get on. They never really have.
Fast forward to the present day: In the opening chapters of A Husband’s Confession, we discover that actor Finn’s lead role in a long running, Irish TV crime drama series has been axed and six years of fame and recognition have come to an ignominious end. At the same time, Max’s star is rising with the success of his artisan bakery on Booth Street, including a proposed prime time television bakery programme, which would propel him into the stratosphere.
With Finn’s childhood sibling rivalry still simmering in the background, is it any wonder old resentments come to the surface and the sparks are ready to fly between the brothers? Despite the best effort of wives Ali and Jo to keep the peace, tensions rise. Then into the twists and turns of this volatile mix there is a devastating hit and run accident, which in turn unveils life-changing secrets that affect all of them and nothing will ever be the same.
As to whether or not the rivalry between Max and Finn can be resolved, as I said, it’s a human condition that has great potential for drama and conflict…
ZOË MILLER – A HUSBAND’S CONFESSION
Zoë Miller is the author of six contemporary women’s fiction novels published by Hachette Books Ireland, including the newly released A Husband’s Confession. Her books are a blend of drama, romance and intrigue. When Zoë’s not escaping into her writing she juggles her time between her family and her day job in training and development. You can find out more at www.zoemillerauthor.com, Facebook/zoemillerauthor, or follow her on twitter @zoemillerauthor.