A Swift Pure Cry
Publisher: Random House
This debut novel is set against a backdrop of 1980s Ireland and a community dominated by the Catholic Church. Shell’s much-loved mother is dead and her father is a feckless alcoholic, which leaves her trying to care for her younger siblings virtually alone.
Shell, who is a naïve dreamer of a girl, catches the eye of local boy Declan Ronan but also feels a strong connection to the new young priest, Father Rose.
Soon Declan sets off for a new life in America, leaving the unworldly Shell pregnant and with no one to turn to in an unforgiving community. When Shell finds her mother’s old pink dress in her father’s wardrobe, she tries it on and a terrible sequence of events unfolds.
Loosely based on the real life case of the Kerry babies, powerful imagery and lyrical prose is woven throughout this unforgettable, outstanding and ultimately hopeful novel.