Publication 'a dream come true' for Bernice

Local author's debut novel selected for Pat Kenny's Book Club on Newstalk

By Aoife Carberry

Released on Thursday, March 24, ‘Sisters and Lies’, the debut novel by Aughnacliffe native Bernice Barrington (née Mulligan), was officially launched on Tuesday, April 5.

A large group of family, friends and supporters gathered in Eason’s, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin, where ‘Sisters and Lies’ was placed prominently, as one of the Eason Book Club of the Month choices, in association with Pat Kenny/Newstalk.

“The launch was brilliant. All my family travelled up and there was a good crowd there,” Bernice smiled, admitting that the past week has been amazing, though overwhelming. “There were lots of Longford representatives there, there was a good buzz - apparently I was trending on Twitter!”

To see her book launched, and also included in the Book Club was surreal, according to the former Longford Leader journalist.

“I find it difficult to quantify the emotion… It’s a dream come true, it’s all those cliches. It’s something I’ve wanted for so long,” Bernice added, pointing out that, if and when it’s possible, she would love to come home to Longford for a launch or reading.

The Media Project Manager said she was ‘utterly thrilled’ with the reaction that the book has received so far, but also relieved.

“I’m so close to it that I can’t be outside it, I can’t be objective, but it’s brilliant,” Bernice said, adding that she never set out to write a ‘thriller’.

The novel tells the story of Rachel and Evie, the latter of whom is in a coma following a car crash. Everyone, including the police, thinks the crash was either an accident or a suicide attempt, but Rachel isn’t convinced and makes it her business to find out the truth.

Amongst the other selling points of the book, many are lauding the well-rounded and relatable characters that Bernice has created, and the author voiced her delight at this, saying; “To have people say that is so lovely and kind of affirming of what I’ve been doing. I definitely wrote this book from the heart so these people are real to me.”

Revealing that she and her husband Brian are expecting a child in July, Bernice, daughter of Brian and Mary, is hoping to make some headway on the second novel before then.

“I’m absolutely chomping at the bit to get started,” she confirmed, before going on to add; “I’m hoping to get a good run at something before maternity leave. There’s a lot of ideas floating in my head!”

Thanking everyone, particularly her Longford family and friends, for their continuous support, Bernice concluded by inviting readers to get in touch via Twitter (@beebarrington), Facebook ( or her website (

“I’d love to hear from anybody at home,” she smiled.