by Bearnard O'Riain - £14.99 Jacana Media (Pty) Ltd (2005)
paperback ISBN 13: 9781770090781 | ISBN 10: 1770090789
Running to Stand Still is a moving testament to enduring love, the hazards of history, the telling of stories and the power of truth. O'Riain tells an extraordinary tale of a family at war with one another and the bitterness that lurks behind their love.
O'Riain, forbidden by his mother to join the Boy Scouts or the reserve national army, eventually puts on a uniform; the illegal uniform of the IRA - the Irish Republican Army. A couple of spells in prison, a threat from a girlfriend, a daring run from the police and eventual capture, all combine and the early indications of a psychological split between the 'good' and 'bad' O'Riain, are made manifest.
These are the threads that take the writer, O'Riain himself, to the present day, and to his search for a way of telling his story, and finally telling the tale of his troubled marriage to his beloved Verne. That begins one day, as O'Riain finds himself on a Johannesburg street, kicking his wife. Horrified, he forces himself to acknowledge the 'other' O'Riain, the one who is a violent and abusive man.
This is the story of his recovery, of Verne's trust and love and their mutual discovery of the roots of violence and provocation. By turns it is shocking and beguiling and the beauty of the writing only underscores the horror of the violence. Above all a story of love and hope.
(Price & availability last checked: October 2018)