All We Shall Know
by Donal Ryan
Melody Shee is alone and in trouble. Her husband doesn't take her news too well. She doesn't want to 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.
Donal Ryan's new novel is breathtaking, vivid, moving and redemptive.
Somewhere Inside of Happy
by Anna McPartlin
Maisie Bean is a fighter. A survivor. Seventeen years ago, she went on a first date that went so badly it was enough to put the girl off chips. The marriage that followed was hell but it gave her two children: funny, caring Jeremy and bullish but brilliant Valerie.
Just as it seems everything might finally start going right, sixteen-year-old Jeremy goes missing. The police descend and a media storm swirls, over five days of searching that hurtle towards an inevitable, terrible conclusion.
Maisie is facing another fight, and this time it's the fight of her life. But she's a survivor. Whatever the odds, she'll never give in.
From the bestselling author of The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes comes this heart-breaking yet uproariously uplifting new novel about love, resilience and the life-changing power of hope.
Hopscotch: A Memoir
by Hilary Fannin
‘Quite brilliant; beautifully, cleverly observed; funny, heart-breaking.’ – Roddy Doyle
Hilary is four, not yet five, and she has a mother and a father and an older brother and sisters. She even has a name at home – Billy – that is different from her written-down name. But now that she is in Low Babies in the local convent school, it seems Hilary has something else called responsibilities.
The world is a changing place. Hilary’s parents, themselves products of a country bathed in sanctifying grace, and presided over by leather-strapped Christian Brothers, wimpled nuns, and a strictly ingrained moral code, start to question their own life choices. As she begins to mature, Hilary’s perspective shifts from a confusing mosaic of half-understood conversations, bizarre rules and surreal religious symbolism, to a growing awareness of the eccentricities of the adult world around her, where money is tight, ideas are unorthodox and where living life to the full is the goal.
As her parents’ unconventional lifestyle rubs against the grain of a pervasive Catholic society, the cracks begin to appear: siblings are expelled from school; final demands litter the hallway; and Hilary discovers the truth about the always-present but never-to-be-mentioned golden-haired lady.
Hopscotch is a funny, poignant and beautifully written memoir, a spellbinding meditation on innocence, love and memory itself.
To Live From The Heart: Mindful Paths To The Sacred
by Edited by Sister Stan
'This is a sacred treasury, a spiritual notebook which is very special to me, and which has touched and inspired me at different times over the years.'
In To Live from the Heart: Mindful Paths to the Sacred, Sister Stan reveals how prayer can play an important part in all our lives, lifting our spirits and offering us hope and support in good times and bad.
This comforting treasury of mindful meditations, prayers, proverbs and essays has helped to sustain Sister Stan through the years. In sharing them with us, she hopes they will nourish our souls, bring us peace on our journey through life, and inspire us to live from the heart.
by Colm Tobin
It’s exhausting, being Irish. The constant self-flagellation is enough to put anybody off their breakfast.
Why are we so hard on ourselves? Is it the post-colonial overhang following centuries of oppression at the hands of a litany of foreign invaders? Or is it collective guilt for sending Westlife out into the wider world?
In Surviving Ireland, acclaimed comedy writer Colm Tobin* takes the reader by the hand for a satirical romp through modern Irish life. As well as providing all the tools you’ll need to navigate this often tricky little island (except a compass or anything even resembling a fact), the book will take you through some of the country’s fraught history, asking some searing questions in the process: how did we get here, where are we going and who in the name of God is going to pay for it all?
Surviving Ireland takes in culture and politics, town and country, food and drink, birth, death and everything in between. Let it be your definitive guide to this strange and bewildering rock, cowering from the cold Atlantic swells. Oh, and it’s got some funny drawings in it as well.
* Not the Booker Prize-nominated author Colm Tóibín.
by Sinead McCoole
One week in May 1916, seven Irish women became widows. When they had married their husbands they had embarked on very different lives. They married men of the establishment; one married a lecturer, two others married soldiers, another a civil servant. These women all knew each other and their lives became intertwined.
For the seven women whose stories are told in Easter Widows, their husbands’ interest in Irish culture, citizenship and rights became a fight for independence which at Easter 1916 took the form of military action against the British. These men were among the leaders who formed a provisional government of the Irish Republic and issued a proclamation of Irish Independence.
But the Rising was defeated, and the leaders were arrested and hastily executed. Some of the widows broke under the strain of their experiences and this story tells of miscarriage and tragedy. Yet for another of the women, the execution of her husband allowed her to return from self-imposed exile, freed from the fear that her son would be taken from her by her estranged husband.
This is also a story of women of power and success – some of the widows emerged from the shadows to become leaders themselves. It is a human story told against the backdrop of the years of conflict in Ireland 1916-1923 - the Rising, the War of Independence and the Civil War.
Easter Widows introduces all the characters separately through the romances of these seven women – Lillie, Maud, Kathleen, Aine, Agnes, Grace, Muriel – before bringing their stories together in a cohesive narrative. These interlinking stories are clearly embedded in an authentic historical account.
T.K. Whitaker: Portrait of a Patriot
by Anne Chambers
In 2002, an eighty-five-year-old former civil servant was voted ‘Irishman of the Century’.
Widely regarded as “the architect of modern Ireland”, T.K. Whitaker’s life spans the history of the Irish state in whose economic, social and cultural evolution he played an integral and influential role. Born in Rostrevor, County Down, reared in Drogheda, County Louth, from modest beginnings, T.K. Whitaker’s meteoric rise through the ranks of the civil service saw him at 39 years become the youngest Secretary of the Department of Finance.
His was the quiet presence, the rational and informed voice behind many of the most momentous events in recent Irish history. His inspirational paper Programme for Economic Development became the blueprint for Ireland’s regeneration in the 1960s. As Governor in the 1970s his vision and purpose transformed the Central Bank into a dynamic institution. And, as advisor to Taoiseach Jack Lynch and other political leaders, he played a crucial role behind the scenes in the movement towards peace in Northern Ireland.
Drawn from in-depth interviews conducted with Dr Whitaker and his family, as well as exclusive access to his personal papers and correspondence, in Portrait of a Patriot author Anne Chambers reveals the quite extraordinary extent and diversity of T.K. Whitaker’s work on behalf of the Irish State; his relationship with Irish and international political figures such as De Valera, Lemass, MacBride, Costello, Sweetman, Lynch, Haughey, FitzGerald, O’Neill, and Whitelaw; his policy struggles with governments and individual ministers.
This personal and intimate biography also introduces Ken Whitaker the family man, his motivation, humour and compassion; the personal losses endured and the many highlights enjoyed.
T.K. Whitaker’s life story is a model of excellence, integrity and public duty, and as such is all the more relevant today when such practical patriotism seems largely absent in twenty-first-century Ireland.