* SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN’S PRIZE FOR FICTION 2023 ** WINNER OF THE AN POST IRISH BOOK AWARDS NOVEL OF THE YEAR 2022 ** SHORTLISTED FOR BRITISH BOOK OF THE YEAR: DEBUT FICTION ** SHORTLISTED FOR THE WATERSTONES DEBUT FICTION PRIZE 2022 ** AN OBSERVER BEST DEBUT NOVELIST OF 2022 ** A BBC RADIO 4 BOOK AT BEDTIME *
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.