Winner of the Author’s Club First Novel Award: Alone with melancholic memories of his past, a widower finds new life after striking up a friendship with a village boy
In County Wicklow, south of Dublin, Mr. Prendergast lives alone in the Big House of his village. A remnant of the long-gone days of the Anglo-Irish Ascendancy, Prendergast’s mansion has been witness to many of the most important years of his life, including his childhood, marked by his mother’s open preference for his older brother, Alexander. Following Alexander’s death in the First World War, Prendergast traveled the world, returning home decades later to a greatly changed place. Now in the 1970s, his wife and daughter are both gone, leaving the house an empty monument to his isolation and melancholy. But when the young, redheaded Diarmid arrives on Prendergast’s doorstep, the boy’s thrill at the house’s history sparks an unlikely friendship—one that revives in Prendergast a sense of vitality and sets in motion a final, fateful confrontation with the outside world he’d shunned for so many years.