3.53 based on 650 ratings & 121 reviews on Goodreads.com
Picador

Publication date: 04.06.2015
ISBN: 9781447242291
Number of pages: 0

Synopsis

Catherine and James are as close as two friends could ever be. They meet in Dublin in the late 1990s, she a college student, he a fledgling artist - both recent arrivals from rural communities, coming of age in a city which is teeming - or so they are told - with new freedoms, new possibilities.

Catherine has never met anyone quite like James. Talented, quick-witted, adventurous and charismatic, he helps Catherine to open her eyes, to take on life with more gusto than she has ever before known how to do.

But while Catherine's horizons are expanding, James's own life is becoming a prison: as changed as the new Ireland may be, it is still not a place in which he feels able to be himself. Catherine desperately wants to help, but as life begins to take the friends in different directions, she discovers that there is a perilously fine line between helping someone and hurting them further. And when crisis hits, Catherine must face difficult truths not just about her closest bond - but about herself.

From the author of the multi-award-winning debut Solace comes another dazzling exploration of the complexities of human relationships, a novel about friendship and youth, about selfhood and sexuality, about the lies we tell ourselves and the lies we are taught to tell. Brave, moving and powerfully told, Tender confirms Belinda McKeon's status as one of the most exciting contemporary voices in Irish fiction.

In the media

McKeon regards the characters in her keenly wrought love story—for all their flaws and fragility – with insight, sensitivity, and a compassion that proves contagious
Kirkus
An elegant exploration of a friendship turned sour. . . [this] carefully constructed tale of loss and betrayal thrums with sadness, danger and the dizzying desire to possess
Financial Times
A dead-on account of youthful obsession. . .Such youthful sensations as the longing to be known wholly and exclusively by another McKeon remembers and tenderly records
New York Times