Trespasses by Louise Kennedy

Trespasses by Louise Kennedy

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One by one, she undid each event, each decision, each choice.
If Davy had remembered to put on a coat.
If Seamie McGeown had not found himself alone on a dark street.
If Michael Agnew had not walked through the door of the pub on a quiet night in February in his white shirt.

There is nothing special about the day Cushla meets Michael, a married man from Belfast, in the pub owned by her family. But here, love is never far from violence, and this encounter will change both of their lives forever.

As people get up each morning and go to work, school, church or the pub, the daily news rolls in of another car bomb exploded, another man beaten, killed or left for dead. In the class Cushla teaches, the vocabulary of seven-year-old children now includes phrases like 'petrol bomb' and 'rubber bullets'. And as she is forced to tread lines she never thought she would cross, tensions in the town are escalating, threatening to destroy all she is working to hold together.

Tender and shocking, Trespasses is an unforgettable debut of people trying to live ordinary lives in extraordinary times.


"Sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel. This is an unashamedly conventional realist novel, but such an exceptional one that it's bound to rekindle even the most cynical reader's appreciation of the form . . . Spellbindingly, heartbreakingly unforgettable."― Daily Mail, Books of the Year

"Not many novels mix juicy romance and wartime violence. War-induced longing is a common fictional occurrence - consider Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient, Sebastian Faulks's Birdsong, or, to a lesser degree, Ian McEwan's Atonement - but a vivid, sexy, not-doomed-feeling love story that also takes a war zone as a central subject rather than simply a setting is rarer." ― Atlantic

"A first novel that reads nothing like one, this is a tender, fiercely beautiful story . . . Every finely grooved detail here feels authentic." ― Sunday Times, Books of the Year

Publisher: Bloomsbury
ISBN: 978-1526623362
Pages: 320