Two boys set fires while their worlds fall apart. A couple drive out to the hills in a last-ditch effort to save their marriage. A horse crashes a house party. Set on an imagined island off the west coast of Ireland, John Patrick McHugh’s debut collection of stories draw a complete community of characters – misdirected, posturing and self-deceiving. But in his fidelity to and compassion for their faults, McHugh embeds us in the moments on which these lives twist and turn, probing unflinchingly what most of us would rather ignore. Pure Gold heralds the arrival of a vibrant new literary voice.