Loneliness, love, loss, family and friendship all play their part in this original and atmospheric coming of age tale set in a small Irish town. I couldn’t wait to see how John and his chain-smoking mother Lily fared with his charismatic friend Jamey and their nosy neighbour, Mrs Nagle. Full of dark unsettling passages, terrifying dreams, biblical quotes and cleverly inserted short stories, I really enjoyed this excellent debut novel.
When I woke, the too-sweet reek of old-lady perfume filled my nostrils. It smelled like fly-spray, overripe fruit. I crept onto the landing and sat on the top step and listened. Downstairs in the kitchen, tea gurgled from the pot and cups clattered on saucers. I needed to go to the bathroom but couldn’t resist eavesdropping for a bit.