This is a superbly crafted story of rural Ireland in 1970’s. What I love about Donal Ryan’s prose and writing is his amazing ability to transport the reader to a place and time. The story is busting with longing, loves and lost.
The story opens as Kit and Paddy come to terms that their daughter, Moll, who has left home suddenly. They are bereft. She left without a word, walked to the end of the road, got on a bus, caught a train and then the boat to England. Paddy and Kit, “a family of high morals and low standing” are caretakers on the land of the Jackman’s. This sudden departure is devastating for them. They struggle to come to terms with their loss whilst at the same time coming to terms with neighbours speculating on why Moll has left.
This multi-generational story, is told by each of the main characters, moves through the decades as we follow Paddy, Kit and Moll. The writing can make the reader anxious at times as he builds up the tensions in the storyline.
I am a fan of Donal’s writing, having read all his novels. I still remember first being alerted to his writing by Fiona Murphy from Transworld about this fantastic Irish writer with writing that sings on the page and an author I must read.
I cannot put enough words onto a page to tell you how brilliant this book is. The story will take you over and wrap itself around you and this book really will stay with you long after you have finished it.
Available from all good bookshops from 20th August 2020