Billy O'Callaghan
Billy O'Callaghan

Billy O'Callaghan

Life Sentences
  • Life Sentences


    An unforgettable tale of love, abandonment, hunger and redemption, from a rising star of Irish fiction

    'O'Callaghan is one of our finest writers . . . and this is his best work yet' JOHN BANVILLE


    At just sixteen, Nancy leaves the small island of Cape Clear for the mainland, the only member of her family to survive the effects of the Great Famine. Finding work in a grand house on the edge of Cork City, she is irrepressibly drawn to the charismatic gardener Michael Egan, sparking a love affair and a devastating chain of events that continues to unfold over three generations. Spanning more than a century, Life Sentences is the unforgettable journey of a family hungry for redemption, and determined against all odds to be free.

    This sweeping story of one family's fight for survival goes on making the heart lurch long after the final page, and confirms Billy O'Callaghan as one of the finest living Irish writers.


    'A lovely, piercing book' SEBASTIAN BARRY

    'Stops you in your tracks so you can savour its utter beauty' ANNE GRIFFIN

    'Momentous and epic storytelling' BERNARD MACLAVERTY

    'So good and true it feels almost magical' SADIE JONES

    'Eminently readable . . . My book of the year so far' RYAN TUBRIDY

Billy O'Callaghan is the author of the critically acclaimed novel My Coney Island Baby, which has been translated into nine languages and was shortlisted for the Encore Award 2020. Stories in his short-story collection The Boatman and Other Stories were shortlisted for the Costa Short Story Award and for Short Story of the Year in the An Post Irish Book Awards. He lives in Douglas, a village on the edge of Cork City.

We use cookies on this site to enable certain parts of the site to function and to collect information about your use of the site so that we can improve our visitors’ experience.

For more on our cookies and changing your settings click here

Strictly Necessary


Preferences & Features

Targeting / Advertising