Life Sentences

Life Sentences

the unforgettable Irish bestseller

Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

*THE #3 IRISH BESTSELLER*


Three generations. More than a century of famine, war, violence and love.

At sixteen Nancy, the only member of her family to survive the Great Famine, leaves her small island for the mainland. Finding work in a grand house on the edge of Cork City, she feels irrepressibly drawn to the charismatic gardener Michael Egan, sparking a love affair that soon throws her into a fight for her life.

In 1920, Nancy's son Jer has lived through battles of his own as a soldier in the Great War. Now drunk in a jail cell, he struggles to piece together where he has come from, and who he wants to be.

And in the early 1980s, Jer's youngest child Nellie is nearing the end of her life in a council house, moments away from her childhood home; remembering the night when she and her family stole back something that was rightfully theirs, she imagines what lies in store for those who will survive her.

'Brilliantly immerses us in its respective time periods' SUNDAY TIMES
'Momentous and epic' BERNARD MACLAVERTY
'Superb and moving' JOHN BANVILLE
'A lovely, piercing book' SEBASTIAN BARRY

© Billy O'Callaghan 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2022

Reviews

  • Billy O'Callaghan's writing is so good and true it feels almost magical; Life Sentences is a beautiful book, a small epic, a joy.
    Sadie Jones

About the author

Billy O'Callaghan

Billy O'Callaghan is the author of the critically acclaimed novel My Coney Island Baby, which has been translated into nine languages and was shortlisted for the Encore Award 2020. Stories in his short-story collection The Boatman and Other Stories were shortlisted for the Costa Short Story Award and for Writie.ie Short Story of the Year in the An Post Irish Book Awards. He lives in Douglas, a village on the edge of Cork City.
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