A collection of twelve exquisite stories that explore how ordinary men and women endure the trials and complexities of life and the ripples of disquiet that lie beneath the surface. An elderly schoolteacher recalls the single act of youthful passion that changed her life forever; a young gardener has an unsettling encounter with a suburban housewife; a wife who miscalculated the guarantees of marriage embarks upon an online affair. And in the title story a teenage girl strikes up an unlikely friendship with a lonely bachelor. Love, loss, betrayal. Grief, guilt, longing. The act of grace or forgiveness that can suddenly transform and redeem lives. In these twelve haunting stories Mary Costello examines the passions and perils of everyday life and relationships and, with startling insight, casts a light on the darkest corners of the human heart. With a calm intensity and an undertow of sadness, she reveals the secret fears and yearnings of her characters, and those isolated moments when a few words or a small deed can change everything, with stark and sometimes brutal consequences.
Read Caroline Baum's Review:
Dip anywhere into this collection of short stories and right away, you know you are in the hands a real pro, a fresh new voice in the grand tradition of Irish storytellers.
These are deceptively modest stories about ordinary lives, written with a clear eyed concision and the odd phrase that suddenly stops you in your tracks with its king hit emotional accuracy.
No wonder Anne Enright, queen of the genre, is a fan.
About the Author
Mary Costello is originally from East Galway and now lives in Dublin. Her stories have been anthologised and published in New Irish Writer and in The Stinging Fly. The China Factory is Mary's first book of stories.