By Helen Pereira

One is for sorrow
Two is for joy
Three for a wedding
Four for a boy
Five is for silver
Six is for gold
Seven for a thing
that can’t be told

— Traditional Irish Verse

Magpie in the Tower is the story of an author who, at a pivotal time in her life, reluctantly accepts the use of a Martello Tower in Ireland in which to live and write. Sheila soon comes to love this misty, mysterious and historic country and to appreciate her neighbours; their love of history, their ability to enjoy life and their open friendliness. She also discovers that the lives of her new-found friends are often more complex than they seem at first glance.

Place-names hold a fascination for her, and Sheila begins to feel a part of this country as much through her imagination as her experiences.

Through a variety of incidents she is compelled to reflect upon many happenings in her own upbringing, and to re-evaluate herself as well. Her return to Toronto finds her somewhat unsettled, with a longing for her Ireland, her second home.

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