Gillian has achieved success and a degree of fame as the founder of a self-help retreat for high-achievers who want to 'decelerate'. Her husband, Damien, is the public face of a new heritage village that attempts to re-create 1950s Ireland. Their teenage daughter, Heather, dyes her face blue and is addicted to the Dystopia Channel. She is the least of their problems.

When Gillian's beloved aunt Grace, who raised her following the sudden death of both her parents, succumbs to Alzheimer's, Gillian feels dismayingly cut off from her past. In grief and confusion, she starts taking an experimental drug that is believed to sharpen memory - with unexpected results. Meanwhile, Damien's village becomes a magnet for media ridicule. As he tries to defend himself and his work, he wonders if his increasingly remote wife is on his side. He knows that Gillian had a brief affair a few years ago with a former workmate. He doesn't know that she has just re-established contact with him ...

At once richly comic, socially observant, and deeply moving, Protection is a thrilling first novel about love, loss, memory and forgiveness among ordinary people in a place - contemporary Ireland - that is stranger than they know.

About the author

Molly McCloskey

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