Book review: The Belle of Belfast
SET in the Catholic district of the Falls Rd after the Second World War, this novel, based on a true story, tells the tale of feisty young Irish woman Isabelle McKitterick.
It chronicles her life from childhood and her meeting with the love of her life, champion Irish dancer Jack Kennedy.
When cruel circumstances keep Jack and her apart, Isabelle makes the decision to marry another man - and regrets the consequences for the rest of her life.
The novel is told from Isabelle's point of view as she relays her tale to her daughter Bernie, plus Bernie's own take on their shared experiences.
Anne-Marie Foster writes in the Belfast dialect to capture the humour and torment of those turbulent days.
Belle of Belfast is well worth a read and the bittersweet ending will not disappoint.
As well as being a love story that spans half a century, it is a personal story for the author, who was born in Belfast and moved to England in the 1970s to escape the troubles in Northern Ireland. She dedicated this book to her mother.