New Book by Gemma Whelan: Painting Through the Dark

New York, NY, 2022-Oct-17 — /EPR Network/ — ADELAIDE BOOKS is proud to present the latest work by Gemma Whelan: Painting Through the Dark

“Gemma Whelan has written a tender, dramatic portrait of a young woman from an Irish convent, driven to explore the world-and her past-through the power of art. Painting Through the Dark probes how far we will go to avoid, and then confront, the truth. It is a testimony to our ability to survive, against all the odds.”-Rene Denfeld, bestselling author of The Child Finder

“Gemma Whelan, as Irish as her protagonist, writes with courage and precision, chronicling through Ashling’s eyes the damage incurred by sexual abuse, the burden of broken dreams, bravery, betrayal, the claustrophobia of conventional expectations, and most prominently, the darkness in men’s hearts. Through Whelan’s flowing narrative, Ashling attains the triumph of self-realization and the finding of grace, and the reader is well met.”-Mark James Montgomery, The Lightning Field

“With an engaging voice displaying her Irish storytelling roots, West Coast author Gemma Whelan has written a multi-layered novel that encompasses a rich tapestry of themes from first love and sex to a nation and church reeking of abuse.”-Ellen Kesend, author and screenwriter

Fleeing from the emotional shackles of her family in Ireland and the convent where she was training to be a nun, the feisty 21-year-old Ashling O’Leary arrives in San Francisco in 1982 with a backpack, a judo outfit, her artist’s portfolio, a three-month visa, and a determination to find a way to speak up about the abuse of girls and women in Catholic Ireland. As she becomes embroiled in a whirlwind of love, art, and deception, Ashling learns that her success as an artist and a human being depends on dealing with the ghosts of her past and speaking out on behalf of others.


Gemma Whelan is an Irish-born director, author, and educator. She lives with her family in Portland, Oregon.

Title: Painting Through the Dark
Author: Gemma Whelan
Publisher: Adelaide Books
Publisher Website:
Publisher Email:
ISBN: 978-1956635416
Price: $19.60
Page Count: 266 pages
Format: Paperback

Description of the company: ADELAIDE BOOKS LLC is a New York based independent company dedicated to publishing literary fiction and creative nonfiction. It was founded in July 2017 as an imprint of the Adelaide Literary Magazine, with the aim to facilitate publishing of novels, memoirs, and collections of short stories, poems, and essays by contributing authors of our magazine and other qualified writers.

We believe that in doing so, we best fulfill the mission outlined in Adelaide Magazine – “to promote writers we publish, helping both new and emerging, and established authors reaching a wider literary audience.”

Our motto is: We don’t publish classics, we make classics.

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