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Of Mists and Monsoons – a new book by a local author

Samui Times Editor



Of Mists and Monsoons – a new book by a local author | Samui Times
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Of Mists and Monsoons traces the life and fortunes of the principle character, from the mists of Ireland to the monsoons of India.

Born the eldest child of an Irish Catholic family of subsistence potato farmers, Sean O’Hara was in his teens when Ireland was overwhelmed by the Great Famine in 1845. His family struggled to survive two successive years of potato blight, but succumbed one by one, leaving Sean the sole survivor.

of mists and monsoons 1The only way out offered was the chance to join a unit of the British Army stationed in Dublin, and with them he was transported to India. He changed his name which was customary for Irish recruits, and arrived in India as Joseph Harrington. Years on, Joe was overwhelmed again, this time by the Indian Sepoy Mutiny of 1857. In the meantime, this remarkable young man overcame every challenge he was set. He married an Irish girl he found in a convent and with her, raised a family of four.

The story is loosely based on the author’s own family history, as her great grandfather was indeed born in ireland, joined the British Army, and went to India. He stayed there for the rest of his life, and founded a family that remained there until Partition in 1946 drove them to England and Uganda. Anecdotes from the author’s childhood told by her mother are woven ito the story wherever possible.

It is worthy of note that Joseph Harrington prophecied to his close friend, Rajah Saeed Khan, that though the Indians were defeated in their Mutiny of 1857, they would finally rise and throw off the British overlords. He was proved right in 1947.

Adèle Smith has been in Koh Samui for over 10 years. The book was conceived many years ago, but was only completed recently. It is available in ebook format and a Kindle and paperback version is available from Amazon. The author can get paperback copies delivered to the island as well. For more information, contact Adèle at


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