Approaching forty and still single, he suddenly finds himself ‘the leftover man’. Through talent and charm, he has escaped small town life and a haunted family. But now his peers are all getting divorced, dying, or buying trampolines in the suburbs.
Cormac is dating former students, staying out all night and receiving boilerplate rejection emails for his work, propped up by a constellation of the women and ex-lovers in his life. In the last weeks of the year, Cormac meets Caroline, an ambitious young dancer, and embarks on a miniature odyssey of intimacy. Simultaneously, he must take responsibility for his married brother, whose mid-life crisis forces them both to reckon with a death in the family that hangs over those left behind.
Set in Dublin, a city built on burial pits, We Were Young is a dazzlingly clever, deeply enjoyable novel from a Sunday Times Short Story Award-Winning author. ‘In 30 years from now will some literary critic be asking what is meant by “Campbellesque”? That would not surprise me in the slightest’ Irish Times