The Twelfth Day of July


Title and author

"The Twelfth Day of July" by Joan Lingard: Fiction

Joan Lingard was born in Edinburgh in 1932 and lived in Belfast between the ages of two and eighteen. She trained as a teacher at Moray House College of Education and worked in Scotland. She lives in Edinburgh. She has written more than twenty children's books, and eleven adult novels. Several of her books have been adapted for television.
Liam's Daughter (1963); The Prevailing Wind (1964); The Tide Comes In (1966); The Headmaster (1967); A Sort of Freedom (1968); The Lord on our Side (1970); The Twelfth Day of July (1970); Frying as Usual (1971); Across the Barricades (1972); Into Exile (1973); The Clearance (1974); A Proper Place (1975); The Resettling (1975); Hostages to Fortune (1976); The Pilgrimage (1976); The Reunion (1977); Snake among the Sunflowers (1977); The Second Flowering of Emily Mountjoy (1979); The File on Fraulein Berg (1980); Strangers in the House (1981); Greenyards (1981); The Winter Visitor (1983); Sisters by Rite (1984); Reasonable Doubts (1986); The Freedom Machine (1986); The Guilty Party (1987); Rags and Riches (1988); Tug of War (1989); The Women's House (1989); Glad Rags (1990); Can You Find Sammy the Hamster? (1990); Morag And The Lamb (1991); Secrets And Surprises (1991); Between Two Worlds (1991); Hands off our School (1992); Night Fires (1993); After Colette (1993); Loopy Lucy and Clever Clive (1993); The Women's House; Sisters By Rite.


The book is first written in 1970. The story happens in Belfast city, in Ireland.


The story is about Kevin and Sadie, two kids living in Belfast in Ireland.
Sadie and her brother Tommy Jackson are Protestants, in contrast to Kevin and Brede McCoy who are Catholics. The part of the city where they live is separated into a Protestant area and a Catholic area.
The 12thday of July is one of the most important holidays for the Protestants, for to celebrate and remember the famous William of Orange. Therefore there is a great fuss in the Protestant area and everybody attempts to decorate his street.
Once Kevin paints with big letters on a wall in the "enemy’s" area: Down with King Billy (=William of Orange). That causes a big fight between Protestants and Catholics, and there is not only physical contact.. .




Kevin is actually the one who more or less starts the chaos between Catholics and Protestants. As his father has left for some days he makes us of that and does what he wants. Soon he fancies to Sadie, however, his only problem is that she is a Protestant.
When Sadie attempts to take revenge on him one or two times and meets him, he tries to appear very cool.
Furthermore he has many leadership skills.

Brede is Kevin’s sister. In fact, The McCoys have 7 children in total, the 2 oldest are Kevin and Brede.
She is far more sensible than her brother. Brede likes cooking and when she grows up she intends to live on the country. Everybody in her family says that she is the perfect mother.
She does not think that Kevin’s provocating behaviour is reasonable, but she does not prevent him from that either.

She is very stubborn and that’s why she always takes revenge on Kevin. Additionally she is brave and for her it does not matter whether it is a boy or a girl she has to fight against. On the 12thday of July she should play a drum baton twirler and she even has a special costume of purple velvet.

Tommy is Sadie’s brother and he is as fearless and brave as Sadie. However, he is not as challenging for fights as Sadie and prefers other solutions to a fight.


There are still problems between different religions and sometimes people try to solve that by fights.
In that story the author shows that violence leads to nothing. Sooner or later something will happen, which will make people think of their wrong behaviour and then they will feel sorry for that.

Style of the book:

The story is told by a neutral 3rdperson narrator. The reader has to become used to the Irish accent gradually, for it is a bit annoying at first.
All of the figures are described in an indirect way.

PERSONAL Evaluation:

I think it’s a good book, because it’s interesting to read. I read it in a very short time, but not only because it’s a slim book. I have not known that there are still problems between those two religions so there were a lot of aspects, which I have never thought about, but make me think about afterwards. The plot is very quite OK and therefore I would recommend that book to kill time.

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