The Island Child
On the night of a terrible storm, Oona is cut from her mother and welcomed with joy to the remote Irish island of Inis. Not far away, on a deserted beach, a woman pushes out a boy. Oona becomes drawn to wild Felim and his ousted mother, increasingly tangled in their erratic lives on the precipice of the island’s deeply Catholic and superstitious community. The gossips say that the mother and son are related to the fairies, and fear escalates when dark secrets are spun. As the magic of this strange boy grows, an extraordinary bond is created that will ricochet dangerously across Oona’s life. 36 years later, when her own daughter vanishes, Oona is forced to face the past she tried to escape in one last attempt to build a bridge between her and her lost child.
LONGLISTED FOR THE AUTHORS’ CLUB BEST FIRST NOVEL AWARD
‘Thrillingly original’ Naoise Dolan
‘Exquisite’ Daily Telegraph
Twenty years ago, Oona left the island of Inis for the very first time. A wind-blasted rock of fishing boats and turf fires, where girls stayed in their homes until they became mothers themselves, the island was a gift for some, a prison for others.
The Island Child tells two stories: of the girl who grew up watching births and betrayals, storms and secrets, and of the adult Oona, desperate to find a second chance, only to discover she can never completely escape. As the strands of Oona’s life come together, in blood and marriage and motherhood, she must accept the price we pay when we love what is never truly ours . . .
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