Backlist beauties—in brief
We’ve had terrific interest in the idea behind this series—which brings you books from the last few years which publishers and booksellers want to shout about.
Often book coverage is all about the fresh voice, the exciting debut, the shiny new publication. Well, this is where we can talk about all kinds of books, where you can hear about beauties from the backlist.
Next up in the series, Little Island tell us about Hope Against Hope, by Sheena Wilkinson, which was shortlisted for the An Post Irish Book Awards in 2020.
What we love about this book:
A historical novel with a feminist approach, which explores the history of partition in Ireland, a topic which is still relevant in 2021.
A little flavour of what’s inside:
“We would have to run. But we were caught between two seething crowds. All we could do was push through and hope. Sandy was big and strong and Stella and I were fuelled by rage, and Catherine – well, Catherine was whimpering with fear, her hand digging into mine so hard it hurt.
But the stones and the bits of brick kept coming.”
It is 1921. Ireland has been at war with Britain for two years.
Communities are torn apart by bitter hatred – and now a hard border splits the island.
Polly runs away from an abusive homelife to Helen’s Hope hostel in Belfast – a feminist space where young women live and work together – a haven of tolerance and diversity in a fractured city.
But Helen’s Hope and its progressive values are not short of critics, even within its own walls. A heart-warming and compelling story, which is highly relevant in 2021, which marks the centenary of partition.
A line that sings:
“Before I knew what was happening she had grabbed my hair into one long straggle, placed the scissors at the nape of my neck and chopped.”
Cover design by: Niall McCormack
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