1990 in London and Carmel’s daughter is suspected of murdering another child. Carmel is beautiful, otherworldly, broken, and was once destined for a future beyond her circumstances until life – and love – got in her way. Crushed by failure and surrounded by disappointment, there’s nowhere for her to go and no chance of escape.
Reporter Tom Hargreaves, with a fierce ambition and a brisk disregard for the ‘peasants’ stumbles across this scoop, a dead child on a London estate, grieving parents loved across the neighbourhood and the finger of suspicion pointing at one reclusive family of Irish immigrants and ‘bad apples’, he persuades his paper to put them up in a hotel with all bar expenses paid. In the conversations that follow, the family are forced to confront the secrets, prejudices and silences that have trapped them for generations.
This beautiful, heart-wrenching novel confronts head-on the tension between privacy, suffering and the search for truth.