Kevin works at a scrap yard, but loses his job because of false allegations. He is accused of having hidden a gun in the scrap yard. It is the daughter of his boss who comes up with these untrue accusations.
As a person Kevin is described as calm, serious and hardworking. He is kind and will not hurt a fly unless he is badly irritated. He thinks that the violence around the conflict is unreasonable and unnecessary. Therefore he had no indention for joining IRA.
Kevin and Sadie are both certain that people can be friends even if they belong to different religions. But they have some differences of opinion. Kevin holds the conventional Catholics view that family planning is not natural, and Sadie thinks the opposite. But they become friends after arguing for a while. They both feel that it is too much fighting in the world for them to fight over such “small things”.
Sadie lives in a Protestant neighbourhood in Belfast, Northern Ireland, together with her parents and her brother Tommy. She works in the hat department of a department store not far away from her home. It appears that she is a determined and independent girl with strong opinions and a large strength of will. Her own father describes her as 'headstrong'. She is not afraid of speaking up for herself, and others.
The community makes it very difficult for her to meet Kevin, but she continues seeing him. This shows that she is willing to fight for her love. I am sure she is afraid of the things that might happen, but she doesn’t care. Her love for Kevin is much more important for her. She fights for what she believes in, in this case, true love. She has as said strong opinions and is willing to fight for them. Sadie likes to go her own ways, and does not care what other people say. Her strength and independence are clearly shown to us when she decides to go with Kevin to England, to start a new life there
The love story
The Catholic boy Kevin McCoy and the Protestant girl Sadie Jackson meet each other in Belfast, that’s in Northern Ireland. It is three years after their last meeting. They fall in love with each other, but their families and friends are not too exited with this relationship, they tries to stop them in many ways, but they do not success.
In Northern Ireland, a Catholic boy and a Protestant girl are not supposed to date. Two persons from different religions to meet are not easy. Kevin and Sadie meet in secret, and their relationship causes them several problems. Both lose their jobs, and Kevin got beaten up. But they don't care; the most important is that they got each other. They make a new friend, Mr. Blake, who was an earlier teacher of Sadie. He is willing to help them. Sadie and Kevin meet at Mr. Blake house. It is much easier for them to meet at Mr. Blake’s house, because Mr. Blake lives in an area where nobody knows Sadie and Kevin
But after a while, Mr. Blake gets letters with treats. And they find out that somebody tries to kill Mr. Blake. After a while a patrol bomb was thrown into Mr. Blake’s house, and he was killed.
Kevin can’t stand all the hate in Belfast, so he decides to move to England. The day Kevin leaves, he meets Sadie on the docks to say good-bye. But Sadie is going with him.
Northern Ireland has for a long time been the scene of fight between the Catholic and the Protestant. We can observe the citizens blaming their problems on each other. And that this is a political war, and not a religious, because the Catholics want to be a part of Ireland, and the Protestant will not. Over 3000 peoples life where taken during the troubles, and ten thousands were injured.
When we read the novel we don’t get an exactly year or anything, just that it was during the troubles. And that’s in 1960-1970, more or less. If Joan Lingard had mentioned some inventions in the story, we maybe could come up with a closer years. But the only invention mention in this novel is the car.
The story could really be set anywhere in time and place because of the universal theme, which is true love threatened to be destroyed by circumstances that the two main characters can’t change.