The Fire Starters, Jan Carson (Paperback, March 2020)

£8.99

**WINNER of the EU Prize for Literature**'One of the most exciting and original Northern Irish writers of her generation' SUNDAY TIMES'

At once grittily real, wildly magical and insanely alluring - a siren-song of a novel (Donal Ryan)

Dr Jonathan Murray fears his new-born daughter is not as harmless as she seems. Sammy Agnew is wrestling with his dark past, and fears the violence in his blood lurks in his son, too.

The city is in flames and the authorities are losing control. As matters fall into frenzy, and as the lines between fantasy and truth, right and wrong, begin to blur, who will these two fathers choose to protect?Dark, propulsive and thrillingly original, this tale of fierce familial love and sacrifice fizzes with magic and wonder.

Jan Carson's distinctive voice brings Belfast alive in this original novel, I thoroughly enjoyed it. - Linda 

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Thirteen, by Steve Cavanagh

£8.99

This is the fourth book from Belfast based writer Steve Cavanagh, and it has pushed him up to the forefront of best contemporary crime writers across the globe. His own career as a barrister means that we get an insightful twisty and satisfying page turner. You’ll love it. 

To your knowledge, is there anything that would preclude you from serving on this jury? 'Murder wasn't the hard part. It was just the start of the game. Joshua Kane has been preparing for this moment his whole life.
He's done it before. But this is the big one. This is the murder trial of the century.
And Kane has killed to get the best seat in the house. But there's someone on his tail. Someone who suspects that the killer isn't the man on trial.
Kane knows time is running out - he just needs to get to the conviction without being discovered. 

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Big Girl Small Town, by Michelle Gallen ( paperback from 18, Feb 2021)

£8.99

Already shortlisted for a Women Comedy writing award, this has been described as Derry Girls meets Milkman. The unique blend of comedy and tragedy, with Michelle Gallen's 'Majella', is outrageous and honest.

 

Pre-order for delivery asap after publication.

 

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Fairies Don’t Exist, by Michael O’Neill & Stephen Pierce

£6.99

This is a funny, delightful story about a long suffering Dad trying to sort his daughter out and get her to sleep ( so he can have some peace).

Super illustrations, and enough narrative to entertain the 3 - 5 year olds. 

A great book. Locally produced! 

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Milkman, by Anna Burns (paperback)

£8.99

The Booker prize winning book of 2018, now available as paperback. 

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The Watch House, by Bernie McGill (paperback)

£9.99

 THE WATCH HOUSE by Bernie McGill is the story of the modern world arriving on Rathlin, a remote Irish island, at the very end of the nineteenth century, with dramatic consequences for a young woman named Nuala. As the twentieth century dawns on the island of Rathlin, a place ravaged by storms and haunted by past tragedies, Nuala Byrne is faced with a difficult decision. Abandoned by her family for the new world, she receives a proposal from the island's aging tailor.

For the price of a roof over her head, she accepts. Meanwhile the island is alive with gossip about the strangers who have arrived from the mainland, armed with mysterious equipment which can reportedly steal a person's words and transmit them through thin air. When Nuala is sent to cook for these men - engineers, who have been sent to Rathlin by Marconi to conduct experiments in the use of wireless telegraphy - she encounters an Italian named Gabriel, who offers her the chance to equip herself with new skills and knowledge.

As her friendship with Gabriel opens up horizons beyond the rocky and treacherous cliffs of her island home, Nuala begins to realise that her deal with the tailor was a bargain she should never have struck.

One of our bestselling novels. Vividly imagined and with a page turning suspense. A great read - Linda 

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Being Various, edited by Lucy Caldwell (new ed paperback Oct 2020)

£9.99

Anthology of new writing from Ireland 

Featuring brand new short stories from Kevin Barry, Eimear McBride, Belinda McKeon, Lisa McInerney, Danielle McLaughlin, Stuart Neville, Sally Rooney, Kit de Waal and many more. Ireland is going through a golden age of writing: that has never been more apparent. 

Following her own acclaimed short-story collection, Multitudes, Lucy Caldwell guest-edits the sixth volume of Faber's long-running series of all new Irish short stories, continuing the work of the late David Marcus and subsequent guest editors, Joseph O'Connor, Kevin Barry and Deirdre Madden.

Image for Being Various : New Irish Short Stories

This is the new paperback edition. 

 

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The Secret Life of Special Advisers, by Peter Cardwell

£20.00

Despite the acres of speculation devoted to special advisers in recent years, from Alastair Campbell to Dominic Cummings, their role is much misunderstood. Who are the people Piers Morgan once called 'these miserable little creatures' and just how much influence do they have? Peter Cardwell served as SpAd to four Cabinet ministers, acting as media adviser, political fixer, troubleshooter and occasional wardrobe consultant. In this candid, compelling and frequently hilarious insider account, he takes the reader into the heart of Whitehall to reveal what the job really involves, from dealing with counter-terror emergencies in Cobra to explaining to the Justice Secretary what a dental dam is, to having your inside leg measured in a government office. Spells in Northern Ireland office add local insight to this amusing book.

Packed with advice on navigating the perks and pitfalls of the job, The Secret Life of Special Advisers will inform and entertain anyone who has ever wondered what these mysterious figures really do all day.
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Thin Places, Kerri ni Dochartaigh, ( hardback, 28 Jan 2021)

£14.99

A breathtaking mix of memoir, nature writing and history: this is Kerri ni Dochartaigh's story of a wild Ireland, an invisible border, an old conflict and the healing power of the natural world'A special, beautiful, many-faceted book' Amy Liptrot'

Kerri ni Dochartaigh was born in Derry, on the border of the North and South of Ireland, at the very height of the Troubles. She was brought up on a council estate on the wrong side of town. But for her family, and many others, there was no right side.

One parent was Catholic, the other was Protestant. In the space of one year they were forced out of two homes and when she was eleven a homemade petrol bomb was thrown through her bedroom window. Terror was in the very fabric of the city, and for families like Kerri's, the ones who fell between the cracks of identity, it seemed there was no escape.

In Thin Places, a mixture of memoir, history and nature writing, Kerri explores how nature kept her sane and helped her heal, how violence and poverty are never more than a stone's throw from beauty and hope, and how we are, once again, allowing our borders to become hard, and terror to creep back in. Kerri asks us to reclaim our landscape through language and study, and remember that the land we fight over is much more than lines on a map. It will always be ours but, at the same time, it never really was.
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Don’t worry Little Crab, by Chris Haughton (paperback 2020)

£12.99

From the creator of A Bit Lost, Oh No, George!, Shh! We Have a Plan and Goodnight Everyone, comes a book about taking the time you need to overcome your fears. In the rockpool above the sea, live two crabs: Big Crab and Little Crab. Today, they're going for a dip in the sea.

"This is going to be so great!" says Little Crab. But then Little Crab catches a first glimpse of the water... Oh.

The waves! They're ENORMOUS. "Oh..." Will Little Crab be brave enough to go in?From the multi award-winning picture book maker of A Bit Lost, Oh No, George! and Shh! We Have a Plan comes a bold, beautiful picture book about working through anxiety and, with the support of a loved one, building up the courage to try something new.
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Star by Star, by Sheena Wilkinson (paperback)

£6.99

Stella has always looked forward to changing the world. It's what she was brought up to do, by a suffragette mother who knew all about fighting and rebellion. But it's November 1918.

The great flu pandemic sweeping the world has robbed Stella of her mother and her home, and she's alone in a strange country, with an aunt she's never met. But change is coming - the war is over, and women are about to vote for the first time. History is being made, but how can she help make it? As election day approaches, a day that will transform Ireland forever, Stella realises that she can indeed change the world.

Not alone, and not all at once. But just as stars come one by one to brighten the night sky, so history is made person by person, girl by girl. An invigorating tale of suffragettes and heroes, courage and survival, as war ends, flu sweeps the land - and women get to vote!
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The Troubles With Us, Allie O’Neill ( hardback 24th June 2021)

£14.99

A hilarious memoir about growing up in Northern Ireland in the 90s towards the end of the Troubles and a brilliantly propelling narrative of the extraordinary background story of her mother. Her mother's vivid personality and witty colloquialisms dominate the book and help to give a social history of life in Belfast from the 1950s onwards. Growing up on the Falls Road in 1990s Belfast, Alix O'Neill has seen it all - burnt-out buses blocking the route to school, the police mistaking her father for a leading terrorist and a classmate playing hide and seek with her dad's prosthetic hand (blown off making a device for the IRA).

Not that she or her friends are up to speed with the goings-on of the resistance. They're too preoccupied with the obsessions of every teenage girl - booze, boys and Boyzone - to worry about the violence on their doorstep. Besides, the odd coffee jar bomb is nothing compared to the drama about to explode in Alix's personal life.

Desperate to leave Northern Ireland and the trials of her mother's unorthodox family - a loving yet eccentric band of misfits - behind, she makes grand plans for the next stage. But it's through these relationships and their gradual unravelling that Alix begins to appreciate not only the troubled history of where she comes from, but the strength of its women. Warm, embarrassing and full of love and insight, The Troubles with Us is a hilarious and moving account of the madness and mundanities of life in Northern Ireland during the thirty-year conflict.

It's a story of mothers and daughters, the fallout from things left unsaid and the lengths a girl will go to for fake tan.
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Killing In Your Name, Gary Donnelly ( pb, 18 Feb 2021)

£8.99

A boy's body is found in bogland: a case as cold as the earth that has hidden it for so long and an echo of Northern Ireland's darkest hours. DI Owen Sheen has sworn to get justice for the unnamed child and digs up links to a covert British Army unit that was operating in the 1970s. But as fresh bodies start to litter the streets of Belfast, Sheen and DC Aoife McCusker, who is fighting to restore her professional reputation, must make the connection and stop a killer hell-bent on revenge.
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Raff is Lost, by Jenny Scullion ( paperback)

£7.99

Losing a special toy is a crisis in most households. This lovely story takes us though the search to find Raff again ( and how to remember where he might be?!) 

Suitable for 2- 5 ish and with super illustrations and rhyming text. A great bedtime story.

Local author too! 

 

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Travelling in a Strange Land, by David Parks ( paperback)

£8.99

AN IRISH TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR

The world is shrouded in snow. With transport ground to a halt, Tom must venture out into a transformed and treacherous landscape to collect his son, sick and stranded in student lodgings. But on this solitary drive from Belfast to Sunderland, Tom will be drawn into another journey, one without map or guide, and is forced to chart pathways of family history haunted by memory and clouded in regret.

Travelling in a Strange Land is a work of exquisite loss and transformative grace. It is a novel about fathers and sons, grief, memory, family and love. From local author David Park.

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Who Do you Think you Are? By Pauline Burgess ( paperback)

£9.99

Since Magda moved from Poland to Belfast, her life has been little more than soggy schooldays and one long ‘Game of Stones’ courtesy of the local bullies. Her beloved grandfather shares in her misery. While the other family members adjust to Irish life, he spends his days in his attic room, dreaming of Poland. Yet he tells Magda that she must go out there and seize the opportunities Ireland has to offer. Then Magda meets Sophie, a new girl who looks set to become the most popular girl in Belview College, and at last Magda feels she might manage to fit in.But when does a friend become an enemy? And when is it OK to let go of the past and give the future a chance?
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Flying Tips for Flightless Birds, by Kelly McCaughrain (paperback)

£7.99

Twins Finch and Birdie Franconi are stars of the flying trapeze. But when Birdie suffers a terrifying accident, Finch must team up with the geeky new kid, Hector Hazzard, to form an all-boys double act and save the family circus school

Recently shortlisted for the Great Reads Award, this debut YA novel is funny, warm hearted and encouraging for anyone who feels they just don’t fit ‘the mould’.

 

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The Cocktail Hour by Sophia Hillan

£15.00

Local writer and academic Sophia Hillan has worked with Arlen House Publishing to produce this stunning collection of her short stories. Compelling, with a delicate touch and a wry insight, this delightful book is very satisfying. 

Sophia has also published two novels The Friday Tree and The Way We Danced, as well as a factual exploration of Jane Austen’s family connections in Donegal ‘ May, Lou and Cass : Jane Austen’s nieces in Ireland’.

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Tennis Lessons, Susannah Dickey ( paperback April 2021)

£8.99

 For readers who want to laugh and cry: the brave, beautiful, sometimes brutal story of a young misfit and her rocky road to womanhood, stopping at each year along the way. 'I loved Tennis Lessons so much' ELIZABETH DAY

 You're strange and wrong. You've known it from the beginning.

This is the voice that rings in your ears. Because you never say the right thing. You're a disappointment to everyone.

You're a far cry from beautiful - and your thoughts are ugly too. You seem bound to fail, bound to break. But you know what it is to laugh with your best friend, to feel the first tentative tingles of attraction, to take exquisite pleasure in the affront of your unruly body.

You just need to find your place. From dead pets and crashed cars to family traumas and misguided love affairs, Susannah Dickey's revitalizing debut novel plunges us into the private world of one young woman as she navigates her rocky way to adulthood. 'Brilliant .

. . stays in the mind long after reading' IRISH TIMES'A beautifully written and psychologically incisive bildungsroman...the arrival of a young writer to watch' OBSERVER

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Look! It’s a Women Writer! Edited By Eilis Ni Dhuibhne (paperback, April 2021)

£25.00

This is a scholarly and yet intensely readable book. It takes female writers who were largely born in the 1950's and asks each one to reflect on her experience of being published, read and taken seriously as a writer in Ireland. The vast majority of these women do so, against a backdrop of raising families, holding down 'proper' jobs and generally swimming against the tide of what is expected from them. I found it inspiring, and humbling. In the words of Mark Twain, many of us might say "I'm writing  a novel" to which his sharp reply was "Neither am I".  These pioneers demonstrated through sheer will and dedication , to actually follow through. Some are more personal, some more academic, but an essential read for anyone interested in gender studies, writing in Ireland and creative endeavour.
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A City Burning, Angela Graham ( paperback Oct 2020)

£9.99

Angela Graham's stories are set in Wales, Northern Ireland and Italy, from her own experience of living in these 3 countries. She has a visual and theatrical eye, drawing you in to the setting of each story. Some are short, some are long. Mostly written in the first person and very engaging. 

Her characters often  have come to a moment of change, which puts to the proof their beliefs or their idea of themselves. Some of these moments occur in mundane circumstances, others amidst tragedy or drama urban violence, the Covid-19 pandemic, the tipping-point of a marriage. They include a watchful child, a gay priest, an estranged husband, an actress adrift and a young woman catching the tail-end of heartless urban mayhem. 

‘These stories show us what the genre does best: the ‘snapshot’ of a moment which reveals a life or a culture in a moment of transition or realisation, what James Joyce called an ‘epiphany’.’ Prof Diana Wallace University of South Wales

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Snowflake, Louise Nealon ( hardback May 2021)

£12.99

Tender, laugh-out-loud funny, and deeply moving' Louise O'Neill, author of After the Silence

Eighteen-year-old Debbie White lives on a dairy farm with her mother, Maeve, and her uncle, Billy. Billy sleeps out in a caravan in the garden with a bottle of whiskey and the stars overhead for company. Maeve spends her days recording her dreams, which she believes to be prophecies.

This world is Debbie's normal, but she is about to step into life as a student at Trinity College in Dublin. As she navigates between sophisticated new friends and the family bubble, things begin to unravel. Maeve's eccentricity tilts into something darker, while Billy's drinking gets worse.

Debbie struggles to cope with the weirdest, most difficult parts of herself, her family and her small life. But the fierce love of the White family is never in doubt, and Debbie discovers that even the oddest of families are places of safety. A startling, honest, laugh and cry novel about growing up and leaving home, only to find that you've taken it with you, Snowflake is a novel for a generation, and for everyone who's taken those first, terrifying steps towards adulthood.

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Shannon Country, Paul Clements ( large paperback, Sept 2020)

£14.99

In August 1939 the Irish travel writer Richard Hayward set out on a road trip to explore the Shannon region just two weeks before the Second World War broke out. His evocative account of that trip, Where the River Shannon Flows, became a bestseller. The book, still sought after by lovers of the river, captures an Ireland of small shops and barefoot street urchins that has long since disappeared.

Eighty years on, inspired by his work, Paul Clements retraces Hayward's journey along the river, following - if not strictly in his footsteps - then within the spirit of his trip. From the Shannon Pot in Cavan, 344 kilometres south to the Shannon estuary, his meandering odyssey takes him by car, on foot, and by bike and boat, discovering how the riverscape has changed but is still powerful in symbolism. While he recreates Hayward's trip, Clements also paints a compelling portrait of twenty-first century Ireland, mingling travel and anecdote with an eye for the natural world.

He sails to remote islands, spends times in rural backwaters and secluded riverside villages where the pub is the hub, and attempts a quest for the Shannon connection behind the title of Flann O'Brien's novel At Swim-Two-Birds.  On a quixotic journey by foot, boat, bike and car, Paul Clements produces an intimate portrait of the hidden countryside, its people, topography and wildlife, creating a collective memory map, looking at what has been lost and what has changed. Beyond the motorways and cities, you can still catch the pulse of an older, quieter Ireland of hay meadows and bogs, uninhabited islands and remote towpaths. This is the country of the River Shannon that runs through literature, art, cultural history and mythology with a riptide pull on our imagination.

* signed copies available * 

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Sweet Home, Wendy Erskine ( short story), paperback June 2020

£8.99

A gripping, wonderfully understated book that oozes humanity, emotion and humour.' Guardian

Warm, compassionate and funny, Sweet Home captures life in contemporary East Belfast, in all of its forms. Set in the author's native Belfast, the ten stories in Sweet Home lay bare the heartbreak and quiet tragedies that run under the surface of everyday lives. A lonely woman is fascinated by her niqab-wearing neighbours; a middle-aged teacher becomes obsessed with a young Gaelic football player; and an employer covers for his two employees caught having sex in a public toilet. Wendy Erskine offers perfectly formed, brilliantly observed portraits of people trying to carve out a life for themselves, all the while being buffeted by the loss, grief and regret that come their way.

Winner of the 2020 Butler Literary Award, Shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize 2019, Shortlisted for the Republic of Consciousness Prize 2019, Longlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize and the Sunday Times Audible Short Story Award 2019'A Book of the Year in the Guardian, The White Review, Observer, New Statesman, TLS.

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The Last Resort, Jan Carson ( hardback, April 2021)

£9.99

The season's just begun at Seacliff Caravan Park, but none of the residents are having a good time. Frankie is haunted by his daughter's death. Vidas, homeless and far from Lithuania, seeks sanctuary in an abandoned caravan.

Anna struggles to shake off the ghost of her overbearing mother. Kathleen struggles to accept her daughter for who she is. Malcolm, a failed illusionist, makes one final attempt to reinvent himself.

Agatha Christie-obsessed Alma faces her toughest case yet as she tries to help them all find what they've lost. With trademark wit and playfulness, in this stunning linked short-story collection Jan Carson explores complex family dynamics, ageing, immigration, gender politics, the decline of the Church and the legacy of the Troubles. The Last Resort firmly places Carson as one of the most inventive and daring writers of her generation.

'One of the most exciting and original Northern Irish writers of her generation' SUNDAY TIMES
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A City Burning, Angela Graham ( paperback)

£9.99

A City Burning examines power of all types, exploring conflicts between political allegiances; between autonomy and intimacy; emotional display and concealment. The result is a deeply human book full of hauntingly memorable characters and narratives.

They have come to a moment of change, which puts to the proof their beliefs or their idea of themselves. Some of these moments occur in mundane circumstances, others amidst tragedy or drama urban violence, the Covid-19 pandemic, the tipping-point of a marriage. The characters find themselves confirmed or radicalised, and challenge or resist on one or other side of a political division or on the personal front of domestic tyranny. They include a watchful child, a gay priest, an estranged husband, an actress adrift and a young woman catching the tail-end of heartless urban mayhem. 

The stories are set in Wales, Italy and Northern Ireland.

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Maybe, Chris Haughton ( hardback April 2021)

£12.99

rom Chris Haughton comes a funny, suspenseful and keenly observed cautionary tale about pushing boundaries and indulging your more mischievous, cheeky side (when nobody is looking). Three little monkeys, and their big monkey, are sat high up on their branch in the forest canopy. "Ok, monkeys! I'm off," says the big monkey.

"Now remember. Whatever you do, do NOT go down to the mango tree. There are tigers down there." Mmm ... mangos! think the little monkeys. They LOVE mangos. Hmm ...

maybe ... maybe they could just look at the mangos? That'd be ok, right?
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Flyntlock Bones 2 : The Eye of Mogrod, Derek Keilty (March 21, pb)

£6.99

A priceless golden chalice has been stolen from Fergus McSwaggers, fearsome chief of the squelchy Bog Islands ... and he wants it back! Can Flynn and the crew of the Black Hound solve their most dangerous case yet, battling deadly ice pirates, outsmarting squabbling clans, and facing the scariest beast of all the Seven Seas, the monstrous, cat-like Mogdrod?

 

For kids 5 - 9 

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Fifty Fifty, Steve Cavanagh ( paperback, Jul 2020)

£8.99

TWO SISTERS ON TRIAL FOR MURDER. THEY ACCUSE EACH OTHER. WHO DO YOU BELIEVE?

'911 what's your emergency?''My dad's dead.
My sister Sofia killed him. She's still in the house. Please send help.''My dad's dead.
My sister Alexandra killed him. She's still in the house. Please send help.'One of them is a liar and a killer.

But which one?

'Very clever, darkly funny, moving, fast-paced.' Jane Casey

Addictive, clever, pacy. Eddie Flynn is one of my heroes.' Jo Spain

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Street Song, by Sheena Wilkinson (paperback)

£7.99

From Belfast based writer, with a keen ear for dialogue and a real insight into teenager's minds after a teaching career..... 

When life goes off-key, change your tune. RyLee's career is over. After winning a national TV talent show and becoming a teen pop sensation, his fame and success has quickly been followed by addiction, media scrutiny, and career suicide.


When he meets the stunningly witty but distinctly average guitar-player Toni almost directly outside his front door, the opportunity to start afresh seems too good to pass up. Before long, he has arrived in a new city, joined Toni's amazingly talented band, and reinvented himself under the name 'Cal'. For the first time in his life Ryan has friends around him, he's playing the music he's always wanted to play, and - despite living in a hostel, busking for his wages, and living under a false identity - he's finally happy.

But just when Ryan feels like he has truly started over, his past begins to catch up with him.

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Milkman, by Anna Burns

£8.99

Longlisted for the 2018 Booker Prize.

Anna Burns is originally from Belfast but is now based in England.

Milkman is “ a story of hearsay, silence and deliberate deafness. It is the story of inaction with enormous consequences “

Powerful, stream of consciousness prose that feels exhausting but gets under your skin as an astute account of Northern Ireland’s social landscape, and ultimately delivers humour, and insight -it's quite brilliant. 

 

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