A single one of Keegan’s grounded, powerful sentences can contain volumes of social history. Every word is the right word in the right place, and the effect is resonant and deeply moving.’ Hilary Mantel
‘This is a tale of courage and compassion, of good sons and vulnerable young mothers. Absolutely beautiful.’ Douglas Stuart
‘Marvellous-exact and icy and loving all at once.’ Sarah Moss ‘A haunting, hopeful masterpiece.’ Sinead Gleeson
It is 1985, in an Irish town. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Bill Furlong, a coal and timber merchant, faces into his busiest season. As he does the rounds, he feels the past rising up to meet him – and encounters the complicit silences of a people controlled by the Church. The long-awaited new work from the author of Foster, Small Things Like These is an unforgettable story of hope, quiet heroism and tenderness.
‘Astonishing. Claire Keegan makes her moments real – and then she makes them matter.’ Colm Toibin
‘A true gift of a book. a sublime Chekhovian shock.’ Andrew O’Hagan
‘A moral tale that is unsentimental and deeply affecting, because true and right.’ David Hayden