‘Vivid, memorable and beautifully crafted’ – Sarah Moss, author of Summerwater
‘A brilliant collection, from a remarkable talent’ – Joseph O’Connor, author of Shadowplay
Hearts and Bones is a book about relationships. It explores what love does to us, and how we survive it.
A young woman learns to wield her power, leaving casualties in her wake, while a man from a small town finds solace in a strange new hobby. A watchful child feels a breaking point approach as her mother struggles to keep her life on track, and another daughter steps onto a stage while her family in the audience hope that she is strong enough now to take on the world.
First-time lovers make mistakes, brothers and sisters try to forgive one another, and parents struggle and fail and struggle again. Teenage souls are swayed by euphoric faith in a higher power and then by devotion to desire, trapped between different notions of what might be true. Quiet revolutions happen in living rooms, on river banks, in packed pubs and empty churches, and years later we wonder why we ever did the things we did.
Set between Ireland and London in the first two decades of this millennium, the stories in Hearts and Bones, Niamh Mulvey’s debut collection, look at the changes that have torn through these times and ask who we are now that we’ve brought the old gods down. Witty, sharply observed and deeply moving, these ten stories announce an extraordinary new Irish literary talent.
‘Astute, surprising and wholly entertaining’ – Irish Independent
‘Showcases Mulvey’s strenths as a writer: the strangeness, the originality, the perfect pacing . . . highly accomplished’ – Irish Times
‘Honest, daringly fresh and stunningly written, these stories cut right to the very essence of what it means to be young’ – Jan Carson, author of The Raptures