Welcome to my world.


Through Streets Broad and Narrow.




The saga of Ivy Rose Murphy begins with Through Streets Broad and Narrow. The books are about Dublin the city I was born and grew up in. It’s not my Dublin though. It’s the Dublin of my parents.

Who knew all those hours of being told to sit there and shut up would reap rewards. Children were meant to be ‘seen and not heard’. Adults seemed to truly believe we couldn’t understand their spoken word.

Well, guess what. I understood every word said.

When I sat down to write these books I discovered I had a fount of background information available to me in all of those gossip sessions I was forced to sit through.

Ha’penny Chance follows Ivy and her friends around Dublin. She is determined to improve her lot in life – if only people would let her.


The Ha’penny Place is the third book in the series.


19 Responses to Through Streets Broad and Narrow.

  1. John Batty says:

    Dear Gemma

    Congratulations on writing a series of very convincing books on Dublin life in the 1920’s I have been completely emersed in the family’s depicted and how believable the characters are from Ivy Rose to the vindictive priest ! I could not put them down and started re reading again.After the first book I thought it would make a great film and hope that will happen.

    I spent my childhood between a farm in Kilkenny in the 50’s and the bomb sites of London .Pony and traps donkey carts were the normal transport the parish priest was treated like a god but the local people were straight out of the pages of your books .

    Nuns tried to teach me in London but they were so cruel to me it put me off the Catholic Church for ever luckily my parents believed me and had me moved.

    A map of central Dublin on the fly leaf would have helped me to navigate the lanes even though I know central Dublin.

    Thanks for a great read!

    • Gemma says:

      Hello John,

      How nice of you to take the time to comment. I’m so glad you are enjoying my books. I’ve had one critic who shall remain nameless state that they can’t believe Ivy didn’t have a phone in the 1920’s. You will appreciate how much that amused me!

      I’ve been giving a great deal of thought to having a map showing the location of everywhere mentioned in my books. The shops and alleys are real. The Lane is real, tenements hidden in some of the most expensive real estate in Dublin. I’ll get on to my publishers about producing an Ivy map. It would help readers see my streets.

      I was taught by the nuns. I received an incredible education. Brother Theo in the books is actually based as a nod of thanks to one of my own teachers. He was constantly shouting at teenage girls to THINK!

      I only had one bad experience with a nun. My mother cleaned the floor with the woman! It never happened again.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment on here. It really does give this writer a thrill to hear from readers.


  2. Janet Gremillion says:

    I have picked Through Streets Broad and Narrow for my book club to read. However, I have not been able to find any discussion questions. Do you have any suggestions? I’m going to re-read the book and make up my own. I love the series. Thanks.

    • Gemma says:

      Hello Janet,

      How exciting for me. I do hope your book club enjoys Ivy’s world. I’m not quite sure of the format used for discussion – do you not open up the floor for comment? It would help if I knew what part of the world you are in – that would change the dialogue!


      • Janet Gremillion says:

        I am in Baton Rouge, Louisiana USA. We will discuss the different characters, but we also like to have discussion questions about possible deeper meanings and motivations of characters. We even discuss the time period that it is set in. Any insights you may have as to what motivated you as the writer of this work. Are there any things about the book that you would like for us to talk about. I appreciate your responding. Thanks.

        • Gemma says:

          Hello Janet. Have to say – I love Louisiana – have spent many happy hours there.

          I don’t know if you are aware but The Lane is an actual place in Dublin. I was born there. The livery Jem runs existed in the real world. Stars of stage and screen stabled their horses there when they visited Dublin and performed on the many stages in Dublin. Eventually cars were introduced to the livery – my own father was a jarvey (horse and automobile driver) there. I was put on Roy Roger’s horse Trigger when still in diapers!! I’ve been told me Da drove Elizabeth Taylor and Rock Hudson around when they filmed in Ireland.

          I decided to base my books in the 1920’s because Ireland had just won the freedom of the 26 counties. We had no government – no social system in place. I use the historical detail that existed and show how it affects the life of the man in the street = at least I hope I do.


  3. Kathleen Wyer says:

    Hello Gemma,
    I have just read all three of your wonderful Books, Through Streets Broad and Narrow; Ha’penny Chance; and Ha’penny Place and I am addicted, couldn’t leave them down.I came on here today to plead with you to write a fourth Book but thankfully I see there is a fourth, Ha’penny Schemes. I cannot wait to buy this latest Book as I feel I know these people at this stage and I want to follow their lives, especially Ivy Rose, Jem and Emmy.

    Thank you for your wonderful works, long may it continue.

    Kathleen Wyer

  4. Glenn says:

    I just want to encourage you to let the BBC and RTE ONE know that people would love to see several seasons of mini series based on your Ivy Rose books. I just read all four of them in ten days. You have real talent and if anyone disagrees there will be wigs on the green!

    • Gemma says:

      Good Morning Glenn,

      From your lips to God’s ears. Wouldn’t it be nice to see Ivy Rose striding around Dublin knocking sense into people!

      I’m glad you enjoyed my books and thanks for your comments.

      Gemma Jackson

  5. Elsie Garner says:

    Good morning, Ms. Jackson. I was thrilled with Ha’penny Schemes, the third book in the Ivy Rose series. In fact, I sat up all night reading it. My question is….will there be another?

    • Gemma says:

      Good Morning Elsie,

      Thank’s so much for taking the time to comment on here. Ha’penny Schemes is the 4th book in the Ivy Rose Series. There is Through Streets Broad and Narrow, Ha’penny Chance, The Ha’penny Place and the latest Ha’penny Schemes. I hope you haven’t missed one? I love Ivy Rose and with my publisher’s permission I’d like to follow her through the years. So, fingers crossed.

      I am so glad you are enjoying the Ivy Rose stories.

      Gemma JAckson

      • Kathleen Wyer says:

        Hello Gemma,

        I have just read all three of your wonderful Books, Through Streets Broad and Narrow, Ha’penny Chance and Ha’penny Place and I am addicted, couldn’t leave them down.

        I came on here today to plead with you to write a fourth but I see there is a fourth book, called Ha’penny Schemes. I cant wait to get this latest. I want to follow the lives of these people, especially Ivy Rose, Emmy and Jem.

        • Gemma says:

          Hello Kathleen,

          So glad you are enjoying Ivy’s world. The 4th book in the series is in the shops now -readers are already demanding the next one – total nervous breakdown on my part.


  6. Linda says:

    I am really enjoying the series, Will there be a 5th book in the series? If so, when is it scheduled to be released? Thank you for writing g these books! Linda

    • Gemma says:

      Good Morning Linda.

      Thank you for taking the time to comment. It is wonderful to hear from readers. I’ll keep readers up to date as soon as I know anything about the next book.

      Gemma Jackson

  7. Kati says:

    Another book! (Ha’penny Schemes) Yay! Thank you!

  8. Brigid Webber says:

    Dear Gemma
    Just wanted to let you know that I enjoyed you first 3 books and I’m really looking forward to reading your latest one.
    Breda xx

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