As You Were by Elaine Feeney
Sinéad Hynes is a tough, driven, funny young property developer with a terrifying secret. No-one knows it: not her fellow patients in a failing hospital, and certainly not her family. She has confided only in Google and a shiny magpie. But she can’t go on like this, tirelessly trying to outstrip her past and in mortal fear of her future. Somehow, Sinéad needs to seize the moment, and maybe then she can learn to be free…
Discover this unforgettable, darkly funny novel about the power of friendship and the heartbreak of family life – shortlisted for the Rathbones Folio Prize 2021.
‘’Comic, heartfelt and full of characters who walk off the page, it feels like Irish writing has been waiting a long time for a voice as unique and insistent as Elaine Feeney. A superb, unforgettable debut.‘’ Sinead Gleeson
Elaine Feeney is a writer from the west of Ireland. She lectures at The National University of Ireland, Galway. Her debut novel, As You Were, won the 2021 Kate O’Brien Award and was shortlisted for both the Rathbones Folio Prize and Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. It was an Observer Best Debut selection and went on to feature in various Best of 2020 lists including the Sunday Times, Telegraph, Irish Independent, Evening Standard, Guardian, and Irish Times.
Feeney has published three collections of poetry including The Radio was Gospel and Rise. She wrote the award-winning drama piece for the Liz Roche Company, WRoNGHEADED, and her short story Sojourn was included in The Art of The Glimpse, 100 Irish Short Stories Edited by Sinéad Gleeson.
Mother, Mother by Annie MacManus
One Saturday morning, TJ McConnell wakes up to find his mother, Mary, gone. He doesn’t know where – or why – but he’s the only one who can help find her.
Mary grew up longing for information about the mother she never knew. Now aged thirty-seven, Mary has lived in the same house her whole life. She’s never left Belfast. TJ, who’s about to turn eighteen, is itching to see more of the world. But when his mother disappears, TJ begins to realise what he’s been taking for granted. Mother Mother takes us down the challenging road of Mary’s life while following TJ’s increasingly desperate search for her, as he begins to discover what has led her to this point. This is a story about family, grief, addiction, and motherhood, and it asks an important question – if you spend your life giving everything to the ones you love, do you risk losing yourself along the way?
‘’Prepare to fall in love with Mary, to want to reach right into the pages and hold her as a child and help her as an adult. Mother Mother is a brilliant book that takes you with it on a journey of struggle, friendship and forgiveness.‘’ Sara Cox, broadcaster and author of Till The Cows Come Home
Annie Macmanus is an internationally renowned DJ and broadcaster. She was born in Dublin and attended Queen’s University Belfast where she studied English Literature. She now lives in London. Mother Mother is her first book.
This event will be chaired by writer Jessica Traynor. Jessica Traynor is an award-winning poet, creative writing teacher and dramaturg from Dublin. Her work includes: Liffey Swim (Dedalus Press, 2014), The Quick, (Dedalus Press 2019) and Pit Lullabies (Bloodaxe Books, 2022).
Ennis Book Club Festival acknowledges the support of the Arts Council of Ireland, Clare County Council, Clare County Library, Creative Ireland and all of our sponsors, in making the festival happen.
Books by festival contributors may be purchased from Ennis Bookshop.