Following a long absence spent in New York, Elaine Nichols returns to her childhood home to live with her invalid father and his geriatric Alsatian dog. The house backing on to theirs is sold and as she watches the old furniture stack up on the lawn, Elaine is brought back to a summer in the 1970s.
She is almost sixteen again and this small out-of-town estate is an enclave for women and children while the men are mysterious shadows who leave every day for the outside world. The women are isolated but keep their loneliness and frustrations hidden behind a veneer of suburban respectability. When an American divorcee and her daughter move into the estate, the veneer begins to crack. The women learn how to socialise, how to drink martinis in the afternoon, how to care less about their wifely and maternal duties.
While the women are distracted, Elaine and her friends find their own entry into the adult world and the result is a tragic event that will mark the rest of Elaine's life and be the cause of her long and guilt-ridden exile.
Insightful and full of suspense, this is an uncompromising portrayal of the suburbs and the cruelties brought about by the demands of respectability.
Christine Dwyer Hickey is an award winning novelist and short story writer. Her novel The Cold Eye of Heaven won the Irish Novel of the Year of the Year 2012, was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards 2011 and nominated for the IMPAC 2013 award. Last Train from Liguria was shortlisted for the Prix L'Européen de Littérature and Tatty was chosen as one of the 50 Irish Books of the Decade as well as being nominated for The Orange Prize and shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards novel of the year 2004. Her first novel The Dancer was shortlisted for Irish Novel of the Year.
She has won several short story awards and her first collection The House on Parkgate Street and other Dublin stories was published in 2013. Her first play, Snow Angels premiered at the Project Theatre Dublin in 2014 and the text of same is published in March 2015 (New Island Books). She is a member of Aosdana.