A vast and sweeping saga telling the story of two families, the Hennessys and the Codys who grew up and intertwined in West Cork during the troubled years of the Irish War of Independence and Civil War 1919-1923, the story focuses on the enduring passion between Sonny Hennessy, a poor farm boy who becomes a man of war and Anna Cody the beautiful and self-willed daughter of a better off family; while at the same time describing in minute and vivid detail an entire country torn apart by conflict and change. Here appears an unforgettable cast of characters: from the blooddreading humanist, Doctor James Baldwin to the tragic Michael Collins; the steadfast Elizabeth Hennessy to the fated Lord Bandon; the wily Lloyd George to the Jesuitical de Valera; the voluptuous Eleanore Eustace to the choleric Major Percival; the swashbuckling General Tom Barry to the feisty Margie Cody.
From the clash of armies to the individual sorrow of the heart, In Their Dreams Of Fire is a monumental view of Irish history and personal destiny, and a tribute to the ability of the human spirit to rise above adversity.
The novel is a fictional re-imagining of the War Of Independence and Civil War, covering all the great events of those times from the battles of Kilmichael and Crossbarry, through the assasination of the Cairo Gang, the Treaty negotiations with Lloyd George, the bombardment of the Four Courts, the death of Collins to finally the Ballyseedy massacre in Kerry. It is a large book, but a fantastic history lesson without the boring bits. Sinn Fein's Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness was spotted reading the novel during the recent presidential campiagn while the eventual winner of the Presidential election, Michael D Higgins, called it "the most important Irish historical novel for a generation" "O'Callaghan has the true storyteller's gift of attracting the reader's interest and holding it to the last word" Eugene McEldowney, Irish Times "A Herculean undertaking characterised by the sort of literary largesse attendant upon War and Peace" Frank Hanover, Southern Star
The author of the work is currently in talks with HBO to produce a 12-part series based on the Novel to be launched on the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising