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WINNER of the An Post Irish Novel of the Year 2020 & longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award
'You have to truly love people to write like this' Rachel Joyce
'One of the greatest novels of this century' Sunday Independent
'Gorgeously wrought' Guardian
In 1973, twenty-year-old Moll Gladney takes a morning bus from her rural home and disappears.
Bewildered and distraught, Paddy and Kit must confront an unbearable prospect: that they will never see their daughter again.
Five years later, Moll returns. What - and who - she brings with her will change the course of her family's life forever.
Beautiful and devastating, this exploration of loss, alienation and the redemptive power of love reaffirms Donal Ryan as one of the most talented and empathetic writers at work today.
Discover THE QUEEN OF DIRT ISLAND, Donal Ryan's exquisite new novel, out now.
Praise for STRANGE FLOWERS:
'Outstanding . . . Tender and beautifully written' Independent
'All the beauty and sorrow of life can be found in these pages' Kathleen MacMahon
'Exquisite . . . Beautiful' Anne Griffin, author of When All Is Said
'Ryan gathers together the fragments of broken lives and makes us something new and beautiful from them' Rónán Hession, author of Leonard and Hungry Paul
Ryan (From a Low and Quiet Sea) impresses with this gorgeous and meticulous multigenerational family saga. In the early 1970s, 20-year-old Moll Gladney disappears from her family's cottage in Knockagowny, Ireland, leaving behind her postman father, Paddy, and bookkeeping mother, Kit. Five years later, after no contact with her family, she returns just as unpredictably from England. Alex Elmwood, a Black Pentecostal Englishman, shows up shortly after, informing Moll's parents they are married and have an infant son named Josh, who can pass as white. Alexander slowly integrates into the community, joining a local hurling league and proving himself an excellent landscaper. Two decades later, Josh, now an aspiring writer, repeats his mother's sudden departure to London, becoming "not a missing person, more a person missed," as Ryan writes. He meets a young woman named Honey and shares a story he wrote about Jesus healing a blind man whose life subsequently crumbles into ruin. As Honey falls in love with Josh, she hides her connection to Alex's past, setting up the novel's surprising final act. Ryan's sentences have a gentle ramble, which, along with the story's subtle and oblique revelations, may test some readers' patience. Fans of Sebastian Barry and Anne Enright will love this delicate and lush portrait.