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Christine Dwyer Hickey is an award-winning novelist and short story writer. Twice winner of the Listowel Writers' Week short story competition, she was also a prize-winner in the prestigious Observer/Penguin short story competition. Her bestselling novel Tatty was chosen as one of the 50 Irish Books of the Decade, longlisted for the Orange Prize and shortlisted for the Hughes & Hughes Irish Novel of the Year Award, for which her novel The Dancer was also shortlisted. Her most recent bestseller, Last Train from Liguria, was nominated for the Prix Europeen de Litterature. She lives in Dublin.
It’s 1950 and ten-year-old Michael is heading to Cape Cod for the summer. His train journey from Grand Central sets the tone, with the spectre of WWII looming large in a very real way as his memory streams images from train journeys he took in Germany, when it was essential to “keep your eyes shut and pretend you haven’t yet woken or that you’re already dead.” On arrival Michael stays with Richie and they strike up a bond with eccentric neighbour Edward Hooper, who’s depressed by his impotence as an artist, and his intellectually sharp wife Jo, who’s given to passionate, impetuous outbreaks. Personal loss, regrets, loneliness and hazy hopes are played out against a background of sweeping change (post-war transition; the beginning of the era of American consumerism) and the powerfully painted Cape Cod setting. In an era of quick digests and speedy swiping, this novel of depth and honesty stands as a testament to the potent value of taking one’s time.
The stunning new novel from Christine Dwyer Hickey, bestselling author of Last Train from Liguria. 'One of Ireland's most lauded modern writers, Christine Dwyer Hickey teases out the strands of her story... It leaves the reader with the aftertaste of regret for their own what might have been...' - Daily Mail Following a long absence spent in New York, Elaine Nichols returns to her childhood home to live with her invalid father and his geriatric Alsatian dog. The house backing on to theirs is sold and as she watches the old furniture stack up on the lawn, Elaine is brought back to a summer in the 1970s. She is almost sixteen again and this small out-of-town estate is an enclave for women and children while the men are mysterious shadows who leave every day for the outside world. The women are isolated but keep their loneliness and frustrations hidden behind a veneer of suburban respectability. When an American divorcee and her daughter move into the estate, the veneer begins to crack. The women learn how to socialise, how to drink martinis in the afternoon, how to care less about their wifely and maternal duties. While the women are distracted, Elaine and her friends find their own entry into the adult world and the result is a tragic event that will mark the rest of Elaine's life and be the cause of her long and guilt-ridden exile. Insightful and full of suspense, this is an uncompromising portrayal of the suburbs and the cruelties brought about by the demands of respectability.
Farley, a seventy-five year old man, lies on his bathroom floor, having just suffered a stroke. As his mind sifts through his past, we are introduced to the loyal friend he once was, his loving wife, the city of Dublin, and the question of how this very ordinary man has become so lonely at the end of his life. Told in reverse, from Farley's penultimate day to decades before, Christine Dwyer Hickey's bestseller is a jarring look at a life up close. First published in 2011, The Cold Eye of Heaven shows Dwyer Hickey's lyrical prose at its best: rendering sorrow, joy, wisdom, and humor in equal measure. Acutely insightful, this is an eerily accurate portrait of what it's like to grow old.
In 1933, Bella Stuart leaves her quiet London life to move to Italy to tutor the child of a beautiful Jewish heiress and an elderly Italian aristocrat. Living at the family's summer home, Bella's reserve softens as she comes to love her young charge, and find friendship with Maestro Edward, his enigmatic music teacher. But as the decade draws to an end and fascism tightens its grip on Europe, the fact that Alec is Jewish places his life in grave danger. Bella and Edward take the boy on a terrifying train journey out of Italy - one they have no reason to believe any of them will survive...
Hailed by the critics as a masterpiece, Tatty is a devastating, yet hilarious, depiction of a troubled Dublin family told through the lively, charismatic voice of a little girl. With brutal honesty, Tatty tells the story of her life with her beloved, feckless Dad, her tormented Mam, her five siblings and the booze that brings them down. This not just an entertaining tale, but also a heartbreaking account of a disturbed childhood that makes for compulsive reading.