About Author

Bethany Barnett
“I am the sister of a soldier.”

Minnesota native Bethany Barnett was born just a stone’s throw from Lake Superior, in her opinion the greatest of all the “Great Lakes.” Three years later, Barnett’s family had moved to Little Falls, Minnesota, famous as the home of Charles Lindbergh, the first man to make a solo, nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. This quiet, Mississippi riverside town was the backdrop of Barnett’s childhood, full of swimming, swinging on rope swings, and catching crayfish in the shallows. Much of her early unpublished creative non-fiction and poetry finds its inspiration in this idyllic place and its people.

Bethany’s interests range from hiking in the great outdoors, to vegetarian cooking—her passions, from coffee, to faith, to anything with blueberries in it. Bethany’s favourite authors are Ann Lamott, Julia Cameron and Max Lucado. She grew up being read C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien by her father on many a long car journey, and is particularly fond of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and Lord of the Rings. In more recent years, Barnett has found herself impacted by military history films and literature, such as Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10, The Siege at Jadotville: the Irish Army’s Forgotten Battle, American Sniper: the Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History, and Hacksaw Ridge. In addition to this, Barnett’s own interest in writing military biography stems from her brother’s service in the United States Army, and both of her parents’ work for the United Nations.

Barnett studied for her bachelor’s degree in English at the University of Minnesota at Morris, a public liberal arts university situated in a rural setting on some of Minnesota’s richest agricultural land. At Morris, Bethany studied literature under Dr. Dwight Purdy, a James Joyce and W.B. Yeats (and Ireland) enthusiast. This experience inspired Barnett to study for one college term in Ireland at the University of Limerick in the winter of 2000. It was here she was introduced to sean nos singing, the Book of Kells and the merry wake. Though deeply impacted by Ireland, its history and culture, as well as by its value of the word—spoken, written and sung—Barnett was yet unaware of the long-term impact of this stay in Ireland. For her master’s degree, Bethany attended North Dakota State University where her studies focused on literature and linguistics. One week after presenting her master’s thesis, Barnett boarded a plane for Ireland where she continues to live thirteen years later.

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About Face
Finding Peace within the Battle

by Bethany Barnett

Every life has its defining moment, an experience that changes everything.

For three Irish military veterans—John, Ger, and Kevin—that moment has passed. An explosion. A vow. A chance decision. Now each must live with the fallout from his actions—forever. There’s no way out, no going back.

Want to see Bethany Barnett live?

UPCOMING EVENTS

September 1st 2017

Irish Veterans Fundraising “About Face” Book Launch Event

Speakers will include Bethany Barnett, author of “About Face: Finding Peace Within the Battle”; Declan Power, author of “Siege at Jadotville: The Irish Army’s Forgotten Battle”; Irish Gold Medal Winning Boxer, former 2nd Infantry Battalion Sergeant Michael Carruth; and finally, Irish Times Security Analyst and author of “Blood, Sweat and Tears,” Tom Clonan. 

Time: 6:30pm Meet and Greet, 7:30 Official Programme Start

Venue: Cathal Brugha Barracks (Rathmines)

Cost: €20.00

RSVP: hello@bethanybarnett.ie

Saturday, 20th May

International Literature Festival

I will be attending the International Literature Festival on Saturday, 20th May. There is a huge variety of events on around the city. If you are attending, please don’t hesitate to pop me an email and we can have a coffee. Email: hello@bethanybarnett.ie

International Literature Festival

Endorsments & Reviews

WHAT PEOPLE SAY

Mark Gee, Ex-Spanish Foreign Legion and author of Crucifying the Christ

“Very rarely do you get to hear about the real battle for survival that occurs in the soul of a man after he has witnessed the horrors of war. In this astonishing book, three men, all good friends, all former Irish Special Forces soldiers and outlaw motorbike club members tell us how God rescued them from the spiraling self-destructive path of depression, violence, drugs and alcohol.” 

Declan Power, Defence Analyst and author of The Seige at Jadotville: The Irish Army's Forgotten Battle.

“This is a fascinating series of stories that are all the more potent because the common thread running through are that these men all underwent selection and served as the ‘tip of the spear’ with the Irish Defence Forces. It teaches us that nobody is immune from the wounds that can be inflicted on the psyche from military service.
 
“The honesty and candour shown in these men’s accounts of their previous lives is sobering and as striking at times as a slap in the face. But the stories are also filled with hope and show how anyone can turn their life around after hitting rock bottom and come back from the brink.
 
 “With their stories, these men and their writer, Bethany Eastvold, continue to do the state and Irish society some service in shining a light ahead for those who reach out of the darkness of a tortured mind for guidance on how to heal a wounded psyche.”

Howie Pickering, European President, God Squad Christian Motorcycle Club

““Engaging and challenging in equal measure…I thoroughly recommend this read and the God is points to.”

Ruth Garvey-Williams, editor of VOX Magazine, Ireland

Adrenaline-pumping, laugh-out-loud, raw, edge-of-the-seat, heart-breaking, real… I’m searching for adjectives to describe About Face after binge-reading for the last several hours.
 
Bethany Barnett’s must-read book recounts the story of three Irish men – soldiers, bilkers, fathers and sons. Brothers John and Ger Corcoran and their friend Kevin Burke all served with Irish peacekeeping forces in the Lebanon. 
With vivid descriptions of the violence and horror of conflict, this no-holds-barred account is punctuated with humour – You know you’re Irish when you’re eating Cup-a-Soups in the scorching 40°C heat” – and the fragility and beauty of family relationships.
 
As the men return from war with countless scars, both seen and unseen, their lives and relationships begin to unravel.  Riding with a 1% motorcycle gang gives temporary release but the downward spiral continues into grief, pain, violence and addiction. 
 

Author Bethany Barnett

About Face
Finding Peace within the Battle