‘Characters all but leap off the page with believability in these marvellous stories of life (and death) in Belfast’ Sunday Times
Melding his native Irish sensibilities to those of his adopted west-coast Scotland, these tales attend to life’s big events: love and loss, separation and violence, death and betrayal. But the stories teem with smaller significant moments too – private epiphanies, chilling exchanges, intimate encounters. Each of these extraordinary stories – with their wry, self-deprecating humour, their elegance and subtle wisdom – gets to the very heart of life.
Not since J.D. Salinger's For Esme With Love and Squalor have I enjoyed so much a collection of stories. I mean pleasure – real pleasure.
MacLaverty is one of the best practitioners of the genre we have.
His prose is invisible, free of tricks, as though it was your own thoughts.
Beautifully constructed, minutely observed, filled with the poetry of longing, told with an economy and simplicity which makes their small tragedies even more powerful and moving… MacLaverty has created an imagined Ulster which can stand side by side with Joyce's Dublin. Long may he continue.
MacLaverty has a knack for endowing the workaday with a little poetry.