Alyssa, JG Cully ( paperback, August 2021)
An ‘urban fantasy’, also great for teens / YA
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£14.99A brilliantly warm, witty and moving portrait of our pandemic lives, told in ten heart-rending short stories. Love and marriage. Children and family. Death and grief.
Life touches everyone the same. But living under lockdown, it changes us alone. In these ten, beautifully moving short stories mostly written over the last year, Booker Prize winner Roddy Doyle paints a collective portrait of our strange times.
A man abroad wanders the stag-and-hen-strewn streets of Newcastle, as news of the virus at home asks him to question his next move. An exhausted nurse struggles to let go, having lost a much-loved patient in isolation. A middle-aged son, barred from his mother's funeral, wakes to an oncoming hangover of regret.
Told with Doyle's signature warmth, wit and extraordinary eye for the richness that underpins the quiet of our lives, Life Without Children cuts to the heart of how we are all navigating loss, loneliness, and the shifting of history underneath our feet.
The sumptuous, propulsive, sun-kissed follow up to the bestselling Snow, from the Booker Prize winning author' He wanted to know who she was, and why he was convinced he had some unremembered connection with her. It was as simple as that. But he knew it wasn't. It wasn't simple at all.'
When Dublin pathologist Quirke glimpses a familiar face while on holiday with his wife, it's hard, at first, to tell whether his imagination is just running away with him. Could she really be who he thinks she is, and have a connection with a crime that nearly brought ruin to an Irish political dynasty? Unable to ignore his instincts, Quirke makes a call back home and Detective St John Strafford is soon dispatched to Spain. But he's not the only one on route: as a terrifying hitman hunts down his prey, they are all set for a brutal showdown.
Praise for Snow: 'Superb ... crime fiction for the connoisseur.' The Times
£7.99The Milkman's Dilemma is based mainly in Belfast and also in Liverpool, where Clodagh and her husband had 'escaped' to in order to discover a different life to Belfast. However, Clodagh finds herself back in the family home after a misunderstanding with her husband. The visit home brings about many happy memories and stories from the past, and from Clodagh's upbringing. Written with traditional Belfast colloquialisms and sayings, the story brings to life what living in Belfast, in a big family is like, along with the humour that goes with it. Clodagh's imagination, fuelled by the support of her family makes for some very interesting theories, which make the book even funnier. A laugh-out-loud, feel good story with an unexpected twist at the end.
£11.99At school, Ruby is the odd one out. Although Denise and Clara are her friends, they are each other's best friend and she is the 'other' friend. So when new girl Safa, a refugee who has just arrived in Ireland from Syria, joins the class, she is put sitting beside Ruby.
Safa and Ruby realise that their lives are very different. But as they get to know each other they soon discover that they have more in common than they might think. A timely and heart-warming story of friendship from one of Ireland's best-loved storytellers.
'A story about friendship, hope and courage ... I loved it and couldn't put it down!' Christy Lefteri, The Beekeeper of Aleppo