Grab a cup of coffee, and curl up in a cozy chair-- "Small Things Like These" by Claire Keegan is the perfect winter read. Bill Furlong, father of five and coal merchant, lives a quiet life in a small Irish town during the mid-1980s. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, the busiest time of year for Furlong's business, he makes a delivery at the local convent and discovers a young woman whose very existence causes him to consider his own past, while also questioning the integrity of the church that seems to control the whole town. Although this is a fictional work, the story does recount Ireland's Magdalen laundries, run by Roman Catholic orders, which housed thousands of women and children from the 18th to the late 20th centuries. I loved this book because it was a short, heart-warming story about a man who refuses to "look the other way" and whose empathy nudges him toward caring for those who cannot care for themselves. I loved it because it was a short, heart-warming story about a man who refuses to "look the other way" when he makes an uncomfortable discovery at the local convent in his small Irish town.
—Allison Hendrix, Snail Readers Circle
The landmark new novel from award-winning author Claire Keegan
It is 1985 in a small Irish town. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Bill Furlong, a coal merchant and family man faces into his busiest season. Early one morning, while delivering an order to the local convent, Bill makes a discovery which forces him to confront both his past and the complicit silences of a town controlled by the church.
Already an international bestseller, Small Things Like These is a deeply affecting story of hope, quiet heroism, and empathy from one of our most critically lauded and iconic writers.
About the Author
CLAIRE KEEGAN was raised on a farm in Ireland. Her stories have won numerous awards and are translated into more than twenty languages. Antarctica won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and was chosen as a Los Angeles Times Book of the Year. Walk the Blue Fields won the Edge Hill Prize for the finest collection of stories published in the British Isles. Foster, after winning the Davy Byrnes Award--then the world's richest prize for a story--was recently selected by The Times UK as one of the top 50 novels to be published in the 21st century. Her stories have been published in the New Yorker, The Paris Review, Granta, and Best American Stories. Keegan is now holding the Briena Staunton Fellowship at Pembroke College, Cambridge.