Out on 23 June 2022

Hearts and Bones

Niamh Mulvey

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23 June 2022
9781529079913
224 pages
Synopsis

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.

Mulvey's precision, humour and economy are a kind of close up magic, albeit one that kicks you in the heart. Monolithic themes brought to a shimmering, livid clarity. Exceptional.

Rhik Samadder