Wild Houses

Wild Houses

One of the Observer's Debut Novels of 2024

Summary

As Ballina prepares for its biggest weekend of the year, the simmering feud between small-time dealer, Cillian English, and County Mayo's fraternal enforcers, Gabe and Sketch Ferdia, spills over into violence and an ugly ultimatum.

When the reclusive Dev answers his door on Friday night he finds Doll - Cillian's teenage brother - in the clutches of Gabe and Sketch. Jostled by his nefarious cousins and goaded by his dead mother's dog, Dev is drawn headlong into the Ferdias' revenge fantasy.

Meanwhile, seventeen-year-old Nicky can't shake the feeling something bad has happened to her boyfriend Doll. Hungover, reeling from a fractious Friday night and plagued by ghosts of her own, Nicky sets out on a feverish mission to save Doll, even as she questions her future in Ballina.

Reviews

  • Sublime… Wild Houses is a thrillingly moreish novel with some of the sharpest dialogue I’ve read in any recent debut and characters who held me captive until the very last page
    Sunday Times

About the author

Colin Barrett

Colin Barrett grew up in County Mayo, Ireland. His stories have been published in the Stinging Fly, Granta, Harper's and the New Yorker. His first book, the short story collection Young Skins, won the Guardian First Book Award, the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. His second collection, Homesickness, made the New York Times 100 Notable Books of the Year and was a Book of the Year in Oprah Daily and the Irish Times.
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