‘Like Dennis Potter's landmark drama, Pennies from Heaven, the story of Lily
O'Donoghue, a flighty eighteen-year -old UCD student aspiring to be a professional singer, is peppered with songs that evoke a wayward imagination fleeing reality. The songs were popularised by Carmen's aunt, Delia Murphy. A novel with a compelling storyline and a charged finish. Where Cullen excels is in crisply vivid portraits.’
– Alan Murdock, Sunday Times
’A flawlessly accurate recapturing of Dublin in the 1940s: Nelson's Pillar, silk stockings, Findlaters and Switzers, and Caffola's cafeteria and horses and donkeys drawing carriages on O'Connell Street."
– Mary Kenny, Irish Independent
Nobody can tell Jacqueline what to do, least of all Auntie Mina. The little girl will only take orders from her mother, and Imelda has disappeared. It is up to Jacqueline to be steadfast and wait for Imelda to return, but Auntie Mina has come to help her brother Vance in the Avalon Hotel, taking Imelda's place. To make matters worse, Vance decides he needs to marry again, to make sure his children have a mother. Against the odds, Jacqueline has to keep the love between her mother and herself alive.
Years later, Jacqueline believes she is happily married to Vaughan, but he leaves her for the younger Nuala. Did she truly love her husband or is real love waiting round the corner? As before, Jacqueline is afraid to move on. But Pat, her lodger has other ideas. A warm, captivating tale by a storyteller at the height of her powers.
Carmen Cullen was born in County Tipperary and is the niece of singer Delia Murphy. Her first novel, Two Sisters Singing, published by Liberties Press in 2013, is loosely based on the life of her iconic aunt; Carmen has toured a one-woman show based on Two Sisters Singing around the world. Carmen was Head English in Coláiste Dhúlaigh Secondary School in Dublin for more than twenty years and afterwards Director of the Oscar Wilde Autumn School in Bray. She is now a full-time writer. Carmen lives in Bray, County Wicklow. Hello Love is her second novel.