A Ladder to the Sky, by John Boyne ( paperback, 2019)
John Boyne’s novel after the last bestselling The Hearts Invisible Furies.
A dark and twisted psychological drama about a would be writer, Maurice Swift.
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Sunburn : Shortlisted for the 2023 Nero Book Award for Debut Fiction
It's the early 1990s, and in the Irish village of Crossmore, Lucy feels out of place. Despite her fierce friendships, she's always felt this way, and the conventional path of marriage and motherhood doesn't appeal to her at all. Not even with handsome and doting Martin, her closest childhood friend.
Lucy begins to make sense of herself during a long hot summer, when a spark with her school friend Susannah escalates to an all-consuming infatuation, and, very quickly, to a desperate and devastating love. Fearful of rejection from her small and conservative community, Lucy begins living a double life, hiding the most honest parts of herself in stolen moments with Susannah. But with the end of school and the opportunity to leave Crossmore looming, Lucy must choose between two places, two people and two futures, each as terrifying as the other.
But only one can offer her real happiness. Sunburn is an astute and tender portrayal of first love, adolescent anxiety and the realities of growing up in a small town where tradition holds people tightly in its grasp.
New home, new name and newly thirty: Phoebe Forde has stepped into emigrant life in Copenhagen with her anxious dog, Dolly. Almost three years into her gender transition, she has learned to move through the world carefully, savouring small moments of joy. A woman without a past can be anyone she wants - that is, until an unexpected visit from Grace, her first love, brings memories of Dublin and a life she thought she'd left behind.
Over the course of a single weekend, as their old romance kindles something sweet and radically unfamiliar, Grace helps Phoebe to navigate the jagged edges of migration, nostalgia and hope.
'Searingly sharp, deliciously funny, profound' Danielle McLaughlin
Full of wisdom and poetry and epic emotion, This is My Sea explores grief, memory and loss through vivid words and striking imagery. It echoes lost summers and the beauty of life, like a shell held to the ear' - Ed O'Loughlin.
Over the course of seven difficult years Miriam Mulcahy lost her mother, father and sister, each grief threatening to drown her. But instead of going under she discovered the lessons of the sea, letting the water teach her how to get through anything in life: one breath builds on another, another stroke, another kick and you will get home.
THIS IS MY SEA takes our greatest fear, death, and wraps it up in language so fine and beautiful that the reader is carried along and comforted by how completely lost Miriam was and how she found solace in all the things that sustained her: books, music, art, friends, love, swimming, and of course the sea.
'Boyne tells us a story we thought we knew, but strips away the ideology to present a new way of seeing. A book that opens your eyes is a rare one indeed' Claire Kilroy
From internationally bestselling author John Boyne comes a masterfully reflective story about one woman coming to terms with the demons of her past and finding a new path forward.
The first thing Vanessa Carvin does when she arrives on the island is change her name. To the locals, she is Willow Hale, a solitary outsider escaping Dublin to live a hermetic existence in a small cottage, not a notorious woman on the run from her past. But scandals follow like hunting dogs.
And she has some questions of her own to answer. If her ex-husband is really the monster everyone says he is, then how complicit was she in his crimes? Escaping her old life might seem like a good idea but the choices she has made throughout her marriage have consequences. Here, on the island, Vanessa must reflect on what she did - and did not do.
Only then can she discover whether she is worthy of finding peace at all. _