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Grace and her mother and sisters live on an island off the west coast of Ireland. Their father is a successful writer of travel books that advocate a simpler way of life, though he is so seldom there that his family become the subjects of his social experiments and his children’s freedom is indistinguishable from poverty.
Grace and Jeannie take turns to look after their little sister Emily. Then one day – Grace’s day – Em falls from the island’s watchtower. But why and how Em found her way to that dangerous height remains a mystery, and Grace’s lifelong remorse and guilt force her to relive the moment of her sister’s death again and again.
This is a novel written with uncanny style and control, in a range of voices that mirror the growing wisdom of the characters about a world of adult self-indulgence and the consequences of careless decisions and dishonest compromises. William Wall is an Irish master whose work is reaching astonishing maturity.
‘It’s close to miraculous that the Cork novelist succeeds in crafting something as compelling as Grace’s Day…At a time when neophytes are routinely showered with praise, it’s time to appreciate an underrated veteran at the peak of his powers’. – Sunday Times.
‘Wall writes with a lightly worn and beautiful lyricism … A strong and knowing meditation on the tyranny of writers, whose work hinges on an uneasy balance of engagement and self-preserving distance. As the novel draws to a close, and it is another character’s turn to pick up their pen, it’s hard to know whether we should fear, or pity or applaud them’. – Sunday Business Post.
‘It’s this mood of lives irreparably spoiled that make this bitter-tasting tale so potent’. – Daily Mail.
‘On both story and style it doesn’t disappoint … Wall unfolds his story with a controlled prose, his poetical skills shining throughout’. – Evening Echo.
‘Beautifully written novel about how a family, living on an island off the west coast as a kind of “social experiment”, deal with the tyranny of an often absent and neglectful father and the loss of a sibling’. – Meath Chronicle.
About the Author
William Wall is the author of four novels, two volumes of short stories and three collections of poetry. His work has won many awards, including the Virginia Faulkner Award and the Raymond Carver Award. In 2017 he won the Drue Heinz Literature Prize.