One winter morning, in contemporary Dublin, a middle-class woman wakes up next to her husband in her suburban home, and without conscious purpose, walks out the front door to begin a journey that ultimately leads to profound transfiguration. She travels first by car and then train to Rosslare, from where she takes a ferry to Fishguard in Wales. Along the way, she finds herself in service stations, shopping centres, train stations, ferry terminals; recalling her youth, earlier fantasies of suicide and reminiscing about those people who have come in and out of her life. Finally, 48 hours later, alone and isolated in a cottage in Wales, in a strange and eerie landscape, the woman reaches her nadir.

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‘Mothers are not supposed to go on road trips.’

From one of Ireland’s most provocative and admired writers, this is a story of rage and reckoning, joy and transformation.

One winter morning on an ordinary day in contemporary Dublin, an ordinary middle-class woman wakes up in her ordinary suburban home. Her husband is next to her in bed, her teenage children sleeping nearby.

Without thinking much about it, she walks out the front door and never comes back.

She travels first by car, then train, then ferry. Along the way, she finds herself in service stations and shopping centres, hotel bars and hairdressers – and in the beds of strange men.

Finally, forty-eight hours later, alone in a cottage in Wales, the woman faces up to what she has been ignoring inside herself, her family, modern society: signs of breakdown.

‘Sweeney has managed to capture the unique interiority of a middle-aged, middle-class family woman who is hellbent on blowing her life up. Sweeney has the swagger and elan of a much more seasoned writer’ Irish Independent

‘Literary in style but as propulsive as a thriller, you won’t be able to put this down. A fascinating study of a woman who has sacrificed her dreams’ The Gloss

‘Set to be one of the most talked-about books of 2024’ Irish Times

‘A masterful account of one woman’s dramatic rebellion against society’s demands. Compelling, exquisitely written and painfully perceptive’ Daily Express

Additional information

Weight0.28 kg
Dimensions23.2 × 15.2 × 2 cm










Export ed


823.92 (edition:23)


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