Power, politics and religion collide in Trespasses, the astonishing debut novel from Louise Kennedy. Set in 1970s Belfast, Cushla Lavery is a teacher at a Catholic primary school by day and helps out at the family bar by night, when she becomes involved with a local barrister – Michael Agnew, an older and married man. This may sound like a familiar situation but in a city divided by the Troubles, danger seems to lurk at every corner and simple acts of kindness cause deep consequences for Cushla and her family.
The power of politics and religion to divide is explored in a tale where it seems that there is a significance to every word. The turbulence of events conjures up a range of emotions and are depicted so vividly, transporting you to the imagined time and place.
Having previously read Kennedy’s superb short story collection, The End Of The World Is a Cul De Sac, it’s no surprise that her debut novel has proved to be such an impressive story. A compulsive read, I was blown away by the prose and every aspect of the story; an absorbing account, and a definite contender for my book of the year.
Trespasses, Louise Kennedy (Bloomsbury)
Price: £13.49. Info: here
words RHIANON HOLLEY
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