In the bleary summer of 1981, Bessie Halstone, along with her son, Herkie, flees Belfast to escape her husband's IRA debts and the Dentist, an IRA lackey who thinks Bessie's got the money. But when her car breaks down in sleepy Tailorstown, Bessie realizes a woman can only go so far on a tight leash. Laying low, she finds work as a housekeeper for the parish priest.
Lorcan Strong, a painter with failing hands, receives his own notice from the Dentist: his debt has come due. Fearing for his life, Lorcan escapes Belfast and returns home to Tailorstown, where a twist of fate throws him headlong into the Bessie's path - and both find they are forever bound to their troubled pasts.
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Christina McKenna is a graduate of Belfast College of Art, where she gained an honors degree in fine art, and later a postgraduate degree in English from the University of Ulster. An accomplished painter and novelist, McKenna has exhibited her art internationally and in Ireland, and taught art and English for ten years. She is the author of the highly praised memoir My Mother Wore a Yellow Dress, as well as the nonfiction books The Dark Sacrament and Ireland's Haunted Women, and a previous Tailorstown novel, The Misremembered Man. She currently lives in Northern Ireland with her husband, the author David M. Kiely, with whom she collaborates on occasion. Visit her at www.ddd.dircon.co.uk
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