Miranda France

One Up For Ireland

Matters of Life and Death

By

Jonathan Cape 240pp £14.99 order from our bookshop

If you did not already know that Bernard MacLaverty was Irish you might guess it, from the way aunts and uncles keep popping into his stories.

There is Aunt Nora, taking her two young charges to a museum and fearful that they may be exposed to something immoral. On the bus she thinks of mentioning that swans mate for life – but would that be unsuitable? Immorality also troubles Aunt Annie, the nineteenth-century owner of a small guest house, and guardian of a niece whose beauty catches the eye of their lodger. Her sister smiles on this romance, but Annie quivers with disgust.

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