The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually

The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually

‘A moving and powerful novel from one of Ireland's finest new writers’ John Boyne



'A beautiful bittersweet story of love, loss and families. Tears were shed!' GRAHAM NORTON
'A moving and powerful novel' JOHN BOYNE
'Human, graceful and healing, a true gift of a novel' SEBASTIAN BARRY
'A beautiful story' SARAH WINMAN
'Lyrical, optimistic and redemptive' CLARE CHAMBERS
'Just loved it . . . so moving on motherhood, depression, family ties and Ireland' ANNIE MACMANUS

On an island off the west coast of Ireland, the Moone family gathers.

Maeve is an actor, struggling with her most challenging role yet - as a mother to four children. Murtagh, her devoted husband, is a potter whose craft brought them from the city to this rural life.

In the wake of one fateful night, the Moone siblings must learn the story of who their parents truly are, and what has happened since their first meeting, years before, outside Trinity College in Dublin.

We watch as one love story gives rise to another, until we arrive at a future that none of the Moones could have predicted.

Except perhaps Maeve herself.

The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually is a celebration of the complex, flawed and stubbornly optimistic human heart.

Longlisted for the Guardian's 'Not The Booker' prize


'I devoured this, falling in love with the setting and with every character. It is just glorious. A close-up on the everyday beautiful details that make up love' Emma Flint, author of Little Deaths

'Intensely moving, beautifully written and drenched with Irish atmosphere, this novel asks brave and thoughtful questions about mental health'
Daily Mail

'Loved it. Beautiful and original'
Sunday Independent

'Cullen is a thoughtful writer and she dissects the stubborn optimism of the human heart with skill and sympathy' Irish Independent

'A perfect combination of deeply-felt tragedy with great hopefulness'
Anne Youngson, author of Meet me at the Museum

'Masterfully constructed. A book of rare quality' i Paper

'A beautifully observed saga of abandoned dreams, loss and self-discovery. A fabulous creation'
Alan McGonagle, author of Ithaca

'So wonderful on the Irish family and the utter complexity of motherhood, family entanglement and love. I was full on weeping at the end'
Elaine Feeney, author of As You Were


  • A beautiful bittersweet story of love, loss and families all set in the most irresistible of locations. Tears were shed!
    Graham Norton

About the author

Helen Cullen

Helen Cullen is an Irish writer living in London. She is the author of The Lost Letters of William Woolf which has been optioned for television. She was shortlisted for Newcomer of the Year at the Irish Book Awards.
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