“From its opening pages, this book exerts a quiet, propulsive hold over its reader. The three generations of Aylward women will break your heart and then put it back together again.” –Maggie O'Farrell
"This is a generous mosaic of a novel about the staying power of love and pride and history and family." –Colum McCann, author of Apeirogon and Let The Great World Spin
From the multi-award-winning and internationally bestselling author Donal Ryan, a searing, jubilant story about four generations of women and fierce love
The Aylward women of Nenagh, Tipperary, are mad about each other, but you wouldn’t always think it. You’d have to know them to know that—in spite of what the neighbors might say about raised voices and dramatic scenes—their house is a place of peace, filled with love, a refuge from the sadness and cruelty of the world.
Their story begins at an end and ends at a beginning. It involves wives and widows, gunrunners and gougers, sinners and saints. It’s a story of terrible betrayals and fierce loyalties, of isolation and togetherness, of transgression, forgiveness, desire, and love. Of all the things family can be and all the things it sometimes isn’t. The Queen of Dirt Island is an uplifting celebration of fierce, loyal love and the powerful stories that bind generations together.