All We Shall Know
The Dublin Edition
By: Donal Ryan
From the author of the award-winning novel The Spinning Heart, comes Donal Ryan’s most breathtaking, redemptive novel All We Shall Know.
“…written at white heat in sentences that sometimes flow for a full paragraph, reads compulsively and is delivered with an impressively disciplined power.” -The Irish Times
“Martin Toppy is the son of a famous Traveller and the father of my unborn child. He’s seventeen. I’m thirty-three. I was his teacher. I’d have killed myself by now if I was brave enough. I don’t think it would hurt the baby. His little heart would stop with mine. He wouldn’t feel himself leaving one world of darkness for another, his spirit untangling itself from me.”
Melody Shee is alone and in trouble. Her husband doesn’t take the news of her pregnancy too well. She doesn’t want to tell her father yet because he’s a good man and this could break him. She’s trying to stay in the moment, but the future is looming – larger by the day – while the past won’t let her go. The part she played in Breedie Flynn’s death, the poisonous ruins of her marriage, and the increasingly complicated fact of her pregnancy consume her thoughts. And Martin Toppy has disappeared. Mired in anger and self-recrimination, Melody finds redemption in her new friendship with Mary Crothery, a young Traveller woman. But this relationship comes at a price, for Mary is at the heart of a blood feud engulfing her community. Inexorably, almost willingly, Melody is drawn into the whirlpool of its violence.
Donal Ryan’s talent for character development and narration comes to the fore in All We Shall Know. Melody’s personality leaps off the page, flawed, complex, contradictory and above all, human.
16 September 2016