I would sum up The Butchers as a compelling read and  a book I would highly recommend. In a strange way it is hard to categorise. It is a story of modern Ireland yet the story is steep in folklore, times past, loving the wrong person and as the title suggests slaughtering of cattle.

The Butchers in the title are eight men who roam the country, slaughtering the cows of those who still have faith in the old ways. I did not know  this was a tradition and I have since found out that men still do this in some rural areas.

The story opens in Cavan in 1996 when we meet Úna. She is twelve and a half and she is sitting down to a meal with her Mum and Dad. Her Dad is about to set off on another journey around Northern Ireland with seven other men butchering cattle in an old traditional method. Úna is one of several fascinating characters in the book but I most enjoyed Gra.

I really like Ruth’s writing style, it is very descriptive and she is a wonderful storyteller. The characters are great, well formed and she has a very sharp eye for detail. This is

There are many reasons I loved this book, including that one of my favourite songs of all time is quoted Coming Home to You by Simply Red.

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