Tish Delaney

Before My Actual Heart Breaks
  • Before My Actual Heart Breaks

  • 'This is in many ways a familiar story but it is told in such a fresh, entertaining, funny and moving way, it felt like I was reading something brand new.' RODDY DOYLE
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    'If I could go back to being sixteen again, I'd do things differently.'

    'Everyone over the age of forty feels like that, you total gom,' says my best friend Lizzie Magee.

    When she was young Mary Rattigan wanted to fly. She was going to take off like an angel from heaven and leave the muck and madness of troubled Northern Ireland behind. Nothing but the Land of Happy Ever After would do for her.

    But as a Catholic girl with a B.I.T.C.H. for a Mammy and a silent Daddy, things did not go as she and Lizzie Magee had planned.

    Now, five children, twenty-five years, an end to the bombs and bullets, enough whiskey to sink a ship and endless wakes and sandwich teas later, Mary's alone. She's learned plenty of hard lessons and missed a hundred steps towards the life she'd always hoped for.

    Will she finally find the courage to ask for the love she deserves? Or is it too late?

Tish Delaney was born and brought up in Northern Ireland at the height of the Troubles. Like a lot of people of her generation, she left the sectarian violence behind by moving to England. After graduating from Manchester University, she moved to London and worked on various magazines and broadsheets as a reporter, reviewer and sub-editor. She left the Financial Times in 2014 to live in the Channel Islands to pursue her career as a writer. Before My Actual Heart Breaks, her debut novel, will be published by Hutchinson in 2021.


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