The mother told me to avoid the company of girls until I was 35 or so and then marry a good sensible match, a respectable girl with a farm and money. “Take your time, Nicolas,“ she said. “There are thousands of farmers’ daughters with their tongues hanging out to be married, and don’t worry about anything, for after my day you’ll have this place forever, and your uncle Dick‘s place as well.”
In 1950s Ireland, the course of true love is running anything but smoothly for young dairy farmer Nicholas Furlong.
When not being thwarted at every turn by his mother, the ferocious Widow Furlong, or his equally fearsome bachelor Uncle Richard, he’s misconstruing the female signals. Or misfiring his responses.
Nicholas prides himself on rising above the ashes of ridicule and rejection that surround him and his two comrades in courtship, Mulcahy and MacDonagh. But now a new torment has arrived in the form of an ageing guardian of the peace intent on courting The Widow. And the farm.
This outrage to the proper order of romance must be stopped. But how?
With hilarious hyperbole and vivid, melodic language, the author takes a scalpel to the hypocrisies and injustices of rural life in this coming-of-age novel that is by turns moving and hysterically humorous.
“Reminds me of both John B Keane and Brian O’Nualain: Keane’s loquaciousness with words and O’Nuallain’s undermining effect with them… a tightrope act executed with frothy bravado.” — Sunday Independent