The author, Joan Lingard was born in Edinburgh, but then she lived, until she was eighteen, in Belfast. At the age of eleven she began writing and wanted to become a writer. Joan Lingard is the author of more than twenty novels for young people and twelve for adults. She has three daughters and one grandson and lives in Edinburgh with her Canadian husband.
Some titles of her books are "Tug of War", "Between two worlds", "The guilty party" or "Hostages to fortune".
Into Exile has been written in the year 1973 by Joan Lingard. It is the third of her stories about the young lovers who try to start a new life. (Former books were "The Twelfth Day of July" and "Across the Barricades". After "Into Exile" she wrote "A Proper Place" and "Hostages to Fortune".)
The author took the title "Into Exile" because London became an exile for Kevin and Sadie and also because of former stories of the serie.
Kevin and Sadie were a young couple, but he was a Catholic and she was a Protestant. And that was the reason why the moved from Belfast to London. They lived in a house - whose owner was Mrs. Kyrakis - where the two had a small room. They paid quite a lot of money for this tiny room. The room wasn't in a trustful surroundings for Sadie, but they could not afford another flat because the girl didn't earn so much money. And Kevin worked as a labourer and sometimes he had a week between jobs although he wanted to have another job.
Once, when they went for a walk they met an Indian woman, named Lara, with her baby. Sadie was very happy because now she had the feeling that she would have a new friend. When the young couple came home, their room had been burgled although there was nothing worth stealing. Sadie was very sad, but Kevin meant that the important thing was that they had each other.
Sadie met Lara in the Indian shop, where Lara worked, again. They became friends and Lara came to Sadie every Wednesday afternoon. They talked about everything, but Lara talked never of Krishna, her husband, or her life with him. He wasn't allowed to know about their friendship because he didn't like strangers.
The girl worked in a store with Rita and other girls. After a while they accepted Sadie and asked her to go out with them in the evening, but she couldn't because of her husband. Soon Sadie realised that sitting at home, cooking for Kevin and not going out in the evenings couldn't be the aim of her life. She was often frustrated and hated London and their room.
Brede, Kevin's sister, often wrote them letters. Once she told that Mrs. Mc Coy - Kevin's mother - had to have an operation. Sadie and Kevin often spoke about their families who lived in the dangerous town of Belfast.
Kevin wanted his wife to marry him in a church, but Sadie didn't even think about setting a food in a Catholic church. But when Father Mulcahy once visited Sadie and talked with her, she changed her mind.
Kevin got a new job in a radio and television business at Mr. Davis'.
One evening Sadie went out with her colleagues and in the disco she met a black boy, named Joe. He liked Sadie although he knew that she had a husband. The next day Kevin saw Sadie with Joe and felt bitterness. But when Kevin went in a pub Sadie followed him and saw him talking to two girls. They began quarrelling and didn't get along well with each other. Finally they forgave each other.
Again they got a letter from Brede where she wrote that Kevin's father had been killed by a bomb in a pub. Kevin was the eldest of his eight brothers and sisters and so he had to go to his family - but without Sadie. His mother wasn't at all well since her operation and he was worried about his brother Gerald who was wild. Brede was engaged to be married but she didn't know if she should marry Robert from Tyrone.
Sadie was sitting alone in her room but sometimes Rita, Joe and other friends visited her. After a while Mrs. Kyrakis threatened Sadie that she had to look for another accommodation because she and her friends were too loud in the evenings. Once Joe gave Sadie a kiss. The girl felt unclean and didn't know why. She often thought of Kevin but also about Joe.
Kevin got problems with his mother because she wanted him to live in Belfast without Sadie. She didn't like the girl because of her religion. On the one side Kevin didn't want to leave his family but on the other side he couldn't leave Sadie alone in London. Kevin took a part time job and wrote his old boss, Mr. Davis that he wouldn't come back for months. When the man told Sadie that, she couldn't believe because she didn't know anything about it.
Sadie got fired because she often wasn't in the mood to go to her working place. And besides Mrs. Kyrakis ordered the girl going to leave her room. She moved to Rita and Sally where she had to do everything for them because they were so disordered.
Kevin told Sadie in his letter that his family was considering a move to Tyrone and that the girl should come with them. But she couldn't imagine that she should live with all Catholics in one house, although she wanted Kevin.
The more Kevin thought about the situation of his family and Sadie the more he realised that he wanted his wife.
The girl left Rita and Sally and went back to Belfast. There she visited her parents who were very surprised. She told them that she was married and now she wanted to go with Kevin and his family to Tyrone. Her parents said that she was silly.
At the end Sadie went to Kevin and they decided not to stay with Kevin's family but to move to another peaceful place in the world.
Sadie is a 17-year old girl who comes from Belfast. She is a Protestant and left her family because of Kevin. She works in a store and when she sees that the other girls there go out in the evenings she begins to think about herself. She cannot go with them because of her husband. She gets aware of her solitary and monotonous life. And so she changes her day life a little bit.
He is a Catholic and comes from the dangerous city Belfast. He works as a labourer but wants to do something with electronics. He wants to do everything right and so he doesn't really know a long time if he should stay with his mother and his brothers and sister or with his wife Sadie. But after a while he knows that he wants to live with Sadie - his future.
Belfast is a very dangerous city where often people die due to bomb explosions. Also Kevin's dad dies there.
London has very famous places like Piccadilly and Hyde Park. Sadie likes this city on weekends but on weekdays she hates it because there are so many people in the streets.
Interpretation and personal comment
The book was written in 1973 when Great Britain with Northern Ireland and the Irish Public joined the EG (now EU).
In Northern Ireland were and are big problems between Protestants and Catholics. It was first colonized in 1170. In the 17th century, land was taken from the Irish and given to any Englishman or Scotsman with enough soldiers to keep down the Irish rebels.
Now there is the problem of a double minority. In Ulster (North) are more Protestants than Catholics, but in the whole of Ireland are more Catholics than Protestants. The Catholics are resentful because for years, they have been discriminated against. And the Protestants are afraid that Catholics would destroy Ulster's constitutions and bring them under the Irish Republic. And so there are often quarrels between the two minorities.
Of course parents want the best for their children although they often do what they want. This book shows us the problem of different religions. Kevin's and Sadie's parents didn't want them to be together because Kevin is a Catholic and Sadie is a Protestant. And so they left their home and wanted to begin a new life in a new city. But that the two didn't really have a better life became clear when Sadie often was frustrated and nerved. Also a new situation for them was that they had to earn their own money and they had no parents who helped them with problems.
One situation was very impressing to me. That was when the young couple suddenly lived separate and Sadie got to know a young boy, named Joe. He wanted to have Sadie but she resisted him and went back to her husband. Their love - although they are so young for a couple - had to be very strong.
On the whole the story shows a lot of true happenings in once life and so I enjoyed reading this book. Sometimes you can really identify with some persons and I also think that there are many thought-provokings for everyone.