For the weekend that's in it, and in my efforts to champion more Irish reads, I've chosen four that I recently loved - and that will brighten up your next few days off.
The Vogue by Eoin McNamee (Faber & Faber, approx. €14.99, out now)
In 1939, Private Gabriel Hooper sits in prison, awaiting a death sentence for a crime he says didn’t commit. In 2000, John Cole is called to investigate the discovery of a dead girl in a town where everyone has something they’d rather not say. Sligo-based Eoin McNamee is on suburb form with his tale of two teenagers who dance the Vogue, a body found in the sands decades later and a town weighed down by its own dark secrets. It’s eerie, atmospheric and leaves you wishing there was more even when you reach its conclusion.
The Book of Love by Fionnuala Kearney (HarperCollins, approx. €13.99, out now)
From the moment they met, Erin and Dom were madly in love. Love, then marriage. Everyone said it wouldn’t last. But everyone was wrong. Twenty years go on. As a wedding present, they were given a notebook, and tasked with writing their story; everything they can’t always say other goes on the blank pages. And we get to glimpse it all. Warm and wonderful.
The Stars Are Our Only Warmth by Alice Leahy (O’Brien Press, approx. €15.99, out now)
In her eagerly-awaited autobiography, humanitarian and tireless advocate, Alice Leahy finally tells her version of events. She left a promising nursing career in the 1970s to work and live in a homeless shelter in Dublin. She has made it her life’s mission and purpose to work with and make a difference those who feel like an outsider; who have nowhere to turn. She is a woman of immeasurable courage and her story is extraordinary.
A Thousand Roads Home by Carmel Harrington (HarperCollins, approx. €15.99, out now)
What does home mean to you? It comes to mean something entirely different to single mum Ruth and her young son DJ, who suddenly find themselves homeless and living in a B&B; hidden from the ‘normal’ guests. But they are normal, or, at least they used to be. Tom, wandering the streets since he left home 10 years ago, used to be normal too. Suddenly, their lives become intertwined - and wonderful things come of it. An uplifting, relevant must-read.