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A new moving novel of three men, each searching for something they have lost, from the award-winning and Man Booker nominated author Donal Ryan. For Farouk, family is all. He has protected his wife and daughter as best he can from the war and hatred that has torn Syria apart. If they stay, they will lose their freedom, will become lesser persons. If they flee, they will lose all they have known of home, for some intangible dream of refuge in some faraway land across the merciless sea. Lampy is distracted; he has too much going on in his small town life in Ireland. He has the city girl for a bit of fun, but she's not Chloe, and Chloe took his heart away when she left him. There's the secret his mother will never tell him. His granddad's little sniping jokes are getting on his wick. And on top of all that, he has a bus to drive; those old folks from the home can't wait all day. The game was always the lifeblood coursing through John's veins: manipulating people for his enjoyment, or his enrichment, or his spite. But it was never enough. The ghost of his beloved brother, and the bitter disappointment of his father, have shadowed him all his life. But now that lifeblood is slowing down, and he's not sure if God will listen to his pleas for forgiveness. Three men, searching for some version of home, their lives moving inexorably towards a reckoning that will draw them all together.
From the twice Man Booker longlisted author of From a Low and Quiet Sea 'Poetic, powerful and heart-rending' The Times 'An exquisite account of womanhood, friendship, prejudice and tradition that is both intimate in scale and awesome in achievement' Irish Independent Melody Shee is alone and in trouble. Her husband doesn't take her news too well. She can’t tell her father yet because he’s a good man and this could break him. She’s trying to stay in the moment, but the future is looming – larger by the day – while the past won’t let her go. What she did to Breedie Flynn all those years ago still haunts her. It’s a good thing that she meets Mary Crothery when she does. Mary is a young Traveller woman, and she knows more about Melody than she lets on. She might just save Melody’s life. 'A joy to read, for all that it breaks your heart' Independent 'One of the finest writers working in Ireland today ... worthy of Greek Drama' Guardian 'A stunning piece of work, utterly truthful and emotionally powerful' Joseph O'Connor 'Work of genius ... I was entranced by it. Buckled by it' Sebastian Barry
From the twice Man Booker longlisted author of From a Low and Quiet Sea 'A force of nature ... a life-enhancing talent' Sebastian Barry While the Celtic Tiger rages, and greed becomes the norm, Johnsey Cunliffe desperately tries to hold on to the familiar, even as he loses those who all his life have protected him from a harsh world. Village bullies and scheming land-grabbers stand in his way, no matter where he turns. Set over the course of one year of Johnsey’s life, The Thing About December breathes with his grief, bewilderment, humour and agonizing self-doubt. This is a heart-twisting tale of a lonely man struggling to make sense of a world moving faster than he is. Donal Ryan’s award-winning debut, The Spinning Heart, garnered unprecedented acclaim, and The Thing About December confirms his status as one of the best writers of his generation. 'His paragraphs are unnoticeably beautiful, his heart always on show, and he writes with a social accuracy that is devastating' Anne Enright 'Compelling and heartbreaking . . beautiful, yet simple and utterly convincing' Sunday Times
An old man looks into the fearful eyes of a burglar left to guard him while his brother is beaten; an Irish priest in a war-torn Syrian town teaches its young men the art of hurling; the driver of a car which crashed, killing a teenage girl, forges a connection with the girl’s mother; a squad of broken friends assemble to take revenge on a rapist; a young man sets off on his morning run, reflecting on the ruins of his relationship, but all is not as it seems. Donal Ryan’s short stories pick up where his acclaimed novels The Spinning Heart and The Thing About December left off, dealing with the human cost of loneliness, isolation and displacement. Sometimes this is present in the ordinary, the mundane; sometimes it is triggered by a fateful encounter or a tragic decision. At the heart of these stories, crucially, is how people are drawn to each other and cling on to love, often in desperate circumstances. In haunting and often startling prose, Donal Ryan has captured the brutal beauty of the human heart in all its hopes and failings.
Winner of the Guardian First Book Award 2013 Shortlisted for the Dublin IMPAC Literary Award 2014 Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013 Winner of Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards 2012 “My father still lives back the road past the weir in the cottage I was reared in. I go there every day to see is he dead and every day he lets me down. He hasn’t yet missed a day of letting me down.” In the aftermath of Ireland’s financial collapse, dangerous tensions surface in an Irish town. As violence flares, the characters face a battle between public persona and inner desires. Through a chorus of unique voices, each struggling to tell their own kind of truth, a single authentic tale unfolds. The Spinning Heart speaks for contemporary Ireland like no other novel. Wry, vulnerable, all-too human, it captures the language and spirit of rural Ireland and with uncanny perception articulates the words and thoughts of a generation. Technically daring and evocative of Patrick McCabe and J.M. Synge, this novel of small-town life is witty, dark and sweetly poignant. Donal Ryan’s brilliantly realized debut announces a stunning new voice in literary fiction.
In 1973, twenty-year-old Moll Gladney takes a morning bus from her rural home and disappears. Bewildered and distraught, Paddy and Kit must confront an unbearable prospect: that they will never see their daughter again. Five years later, Moll returns. What - and who - she brings with her will change the course of her family’s life forever. Beautiful and devastating, this exploration of loss, alienation and the redemptive power of love reaffirms Donal Ryan as one of the most talented and empathetic writers at work today. 'Endlessly surprising and incredibly moving' David Nicholls 'With each new novel Donal Ryan's ink seems to sink deeper into the page. In Strange Flowers he gathers together the fragments of broken lives and makes us something new and beautiful from them' Rónán Hession, author of Leonard and Hungry Paul 'Exquisite ... you will love the quiet world of Paddy & Kit Gladney and all it is their daughter Moll brings to their door. Beautiful' Anne Griffin, author of When All Is Said

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