A State of Mind

By: Kevin Casey

Publication Date: March 2009

(1 customer review)


A State of Mind by Kevin Casey

In mid-1970s rural Wicklow, John Hughes, a once-feted journalist/author with writer’s block, reflects on recent events. When English author William Cromer and his German lover Ingrid move to the Old Rectory nearby, their lives are transformed and an alcohol-fuelled affair begins. Hughes puts at risk everything he has ever loved – his wife Laura, teenage daughter Rachael and the bucolic ease of their quiet corner of Ireland.

Nationalist resentment of this tax-free haven enjoyed by foreigners is sparked by events in Northern Ireland, and John finds himself in the middle of extortion, blackmail, marital betrayal and a suicide. As old and new friendships unravel, even lunchtime visits to the local pub become points of attrition.

Losing his friends and mistress, John is forced to take responsibility for his actions in order to save his family and his integrity, and to find release as a writer.

‘In this powerful novel of emotional betrayal from Irish author Casey, his first since Dreams of Revenge (1977), ex-journalist John Hughes, who leads an isolated life with his wife and their teenage daughter in a large house in County Wicklow, struggles to overcome writer’s block… A demand for an extortionate payoff adds to the tension, but the book is more an insightful character study of the consequences of infidelity than a thriller.’ Publishers Weekly

‘A State of Mind is an excellent novel, my favorite kind, intense, character-driven, set in a time and place that almost has the feel of rumour.’ – Amazon Customer Review


Kevin Casey was born in Kells, Co. Meath in 1940 and went to Blackrock College, Dublin. Once the Abbey’s youngest playwright, and married to poet Eavan Boland, he is author of critically acclaimed works The Sinner’s Bell (1968), A Sense of Survival (1974) and Dreams of Revenge (1977).

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1 review for A State of Mind

  1. Lilliput Press

    “This is an excellent novel, my favorite kind, intense, character-driven, set in a time and place that almost has the feel of rumor. Why is the narrator so sympathetic? He really shouldn’t be, yet he is so honest about what he is doing and how much he has hurt those he loves. The reader is in step with him every inch of the way. He also makes some intriguing observations about the difference between fact and ficton. We need more contemporary novels like this. Highly recommended.” HELENA MINTON

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Weight 0.5 kg
Dimensions 136 × 215 mm
Publication Date

March 2009


Paperback, 288pp