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From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
In four novellas linked by tradition and history, O'Keeffe moves gracefully within generations of family life in a small community in rural Ireland. Connected by circumstance and landscape, the residents of a small farming village well know each other's secrets. In a place where life can be difficult and isolating, where loneliness and regret are as familiar as the ticking of a clock, and a neighborly observation as revelatory as the whispers between lovers, the drama of life is constant and transforming. A young woman, new to town, unknowingly falls in love with the same man who so cruelly betrayed her sister; a young man, the pride of his family and community, commits an act of deception so devastating that the aftermath echoes for decades; and a spinster aunt recounts the heartbreaking story of her greatest love -- a man changed irrevocably by the Great War.
Ordinary yet familiar, these lives are mapped against a harsh geography in startlingly evocative prose. In O'Keeffe's hands, lost love, missed opportunity, and regrettable choices become the occasion for tales rich in revelation. This fiction debut may remind readers of O'Keeffe's fellow countryman William Trevor, but O'Keeffe has carved out a territory and found a voice that is uniquely and eloquently his own. (Fall 2005 Selection)