Cuffing season is upon and singletons need to know what to look out for
Cuffing season is upon and singletons need to know what to look out for

Christina McLoughlin

Children are becoming less resilient and it is because of our parenting style
Children are becoming less resilient and it is because of our parenting style

Amanda Cassidy

These 4 Sofia Coppola films are the dreamy escapism we need right now
These 4 Sofia Coppola films are the dreamy escapism we need right now

Jennifer McShane

Am I supposed to feel joy over a PowerPoint presentation?
Am I supposed to feel joy over a PowerPoint presentation?

Esther O'Moore Donohoe

Nowstalgia: beauty’s most forward-thinking trend? Looking back
Nowstalgia: beauty’s most forward-thinking trend? Looking back

Holly O'Neill

Here’s how to maximise your annual leave in 2022
Here’s how to maximise your annual leave in 2022

Megan Burns

What’s coming to Netflix this November
What’s coming to Netflix this November

Lauren Heskin

The reality of being a single mother by choice: ‘I conceived my son with a sperm donor’
The reality of being a single mother by choice: ‘I conceived my son with a...

Amanda Cassidy

What you watch on TV says a LOT about your personality
What you watch on TV says a LOT about your personality

Amanda Cassidy

The most beautiful and inspiring 5k runs around Dublin
The most beautiful and inspiring 5k runs around Dublin

Megan Burns

Image / Editorial

Three brilliant books made for reading over the long weekend


by Jennifer McShane
17th Apr 2019
Three brilliant books made for reading over the long weekend

The Easter break is here and Jennifer McShane recommends three page-turners worth taking time out to read over the long weekend


The Red Word by Sarah Henstra (Tramp Press, approx. €14.99, out now) is the authors first adult outing. Set in the mid-nineties, she uses a poignant setting of an Ivy League college campus to examine cultural mythology and how it might imbue our daily behaviour. Canadian student Karen becomes embroiled with members of a sorority-bashing, fraternity-loathing feminist group while living in an off-campus house, nicknamed Raghurst. To stand out, she dates Mike, a member of a notorious fraternity, Gemma Beta Chi. Word gets out that fellow fraternity member, Bruce Comfort has gotten a girl pregnant and refuses to accept responsibility, so the Raghurst ringleader Dyann decides to drug or ‘roofie’ the entire fraternity at a party. But after a woman ends up gang-raped after accidentally consuming the drug, rumours spread on campus like wildfire over what exactly happened – and who committed the horrific assault. Henstra expertly uses Greek myths to explore sexuality, debauchery, power dynamics and misogyny with sensitive and sharp writing – and a keen understanding of what is an extremely complex subject matter. Powerful.

Minor Monuments by Ian Maleney (Tramp Press, approx. €11.99, out March 28) is a series of deeply personal essays written after this grandfather, John Joe, passed away. Maleney witnessed first-hand his grandfather’s descent into ill health as Alzheimer’s disease slowly became more potent. In twelve stories he recounts his grandfather and his home in the rural Midlands. His memory loss, his deterioration, his fear, and what’s around him; the landmarks, the sounds and silence all interweave over the course of the collection. There is revealing details in each story: the accidental recording of a conversation, the unblemished skin on John Joe’s shins and calves, “almost the legs of a child” – it’s these moments that give the writing great emotional depth and warmth. There are echoes of Emilie Pine here, but Maleney shines in his own right. Thought-provoking and wonderful.

In Jan Carson’s The Fire Starters (Doubleday Ireland, approx. €14.99, out April 4) it’s summer in Belfast city, but no one is welcoming the heat. The sun is too much but the flames come from human hands. And they get so out of control the authorities struggle to handle it; the fires are condemned, the time for them should be over. Dr Jonathan Murray is almost obsessive over his newborn daughter Sophie And he has fears; unnatural fears she might not be as innocent as she should be. He doesn’t know what to do, if he’ll have to save her. Sammy Agnew, who was born just five minutes up the road from Dr Murray, has his own demons and fears to wrestle with. He is fearful of the hatred in his teenage son, Sam’s eyes. Worried that the violence will consume him. Unusual, mystical and so sublimely written, I read it in a single sitting.

Main photograph: Pexels

Also Read

Three brilliant books made for reading over the long weekend
EDITORIAL
This spatchcock chicken recipe will make your weekend

This is a great way to get a juicy roast chicken, bursting with flavour.     Bord Bia’s Spatchcock Chicken...

By Meg Walker

Three brilliant books made for reading over the long weekend
EDITORIAL
Trinity Tales: ‘Front Square was her garden, and the city was her playground’

Annie Gatling, now Colleran, knew Trinity College was for her when she saw Front Gate from the top storey of...

By Amanda Cassidy

Three brilliant books made for reading over the long weekend
EDITORIAL
Attending multiple weddings this year? How to save money as a guest

These days, going to a wedding is the equivalent of going on a short holiday in terms of cost. From...

By Jennifer McShane

Three brilliant books made for reading over the long weekend
EDITORIAL
5 houseplants we guarantee you can keep alive

For those who buy houseplants with the best of intentions and end up killing them, here’s a selection you’ll be...

By Hannah Hillyer

Three brilliant books made for reading over the long weekend
premium EDITORIAL
Business Club members get your complimentary tickets to The IMAGE Business Summit 2021

Don’t miss this year’s IMAGE Business Summit, with an expert line-up, skills masterclasses, keynote addresses and more.Back by popular demand,...

By Shayna Sappington

Three brilliant books made for reading over the long weekend
EDITORIAL
Sarah Harding’s heartbroken mum announces the singer’s death aged just 39

Sarah Harding has died at the age of just 39, her heartbroken mother revealed today. The Girls Aloud star had...

By Amanda Cassidy

Three brilliant books made for reading over the long weekend
EDITORIAL
8 easy ways to keep your brain healthy that you can do right now

Your brain health is just as important as that of the rest of your body, says psychologist and neuroscientist Dr...

By IMAGE