RTÉ Audience Choice Award

Shortlisted 2021

As The Smoke Clears

By Zoe Holohan

Championed by  - Joe Duffy

On 23 July 2018, in the seaside town of Mati in Greece, Zoe Holohan and her husband of four days were enjoying the beginning of their honeymoon. Then disaster struck. Unprecedented wildfires swept through the area, killing 102 people. Zoe and Brian fled their villa, chased by the flames, running for their lives. Ultimately Zoe was one of the few survivors from the area, having been miraculously rescued from the boot of a burning car just seconds from death. She suffered severe burns all over her face and body, and her beloved husband Brian lost his life before her eyes.
In this remarkable story Zoe reveals the emotional journey of grappling with the loss of her true love and partner, as well as her own incredible fight for survival, learning how to walk, talk and use her limbs again, and a future facing PTSD and a heavily scarred body.
As the Smoke Clears is a deeply personal journey through a life-altering year which, at its heart, teaches us to seek hope and happiness in even the most tragic of circumstances, and to find comfort in the enduring kindness of our fellow human beings.

About Zoe Holohan...

Zoe Holohan has worked in media for over two decades: in advertising, marketing and on creative campaign design. She has had many travel articles published in the Irish Independent and the Sunday World magazine. As the Smoke Clears is her first book.

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