Hardback by Doubleday Ireland, priced £12.99 (ebook £6.02)
In 2013, Donal Ryan won the Guardian first book award for his
portrayal of post-crash small town Ireland, The Spinning Heart. This
was followed up by the heart-breaking The Thing About December (and
yes, this is a phrase used all too often, but here it is entirely
He returns now with a collection of short stories cut from
the same cloth as his previous work – snapshots from lives, each
thematically similar yet tightly contained in worlds of their own.
In the opening story, we meet a man just out of jail who forms a bond
with the mother of the girl he ran over; there’s the tale of a
dedicated mother and wife (even here, Ryan makes the banal beautifully readable) with a shocking twist; an old man recalls a revenge killing’s effect on his life. Love (needing it and giving it),
loneliness and displacement all find a home in these stunning pages.