“Lyrical, highly visual and beautifully observed.”
In Rainsongs by Sue Hubbard, a newly widowed Martha Cassidy has returned to a remote cottage in a virtually abandoned village on the west coast of Ireland for uncertain reasons. Looking out her window toward the dramatic rise of the Skellig Islands across the water, Martha recalls the losses in her life: Brendan, her itinerant husband and charming curator and her 10-year-old son, Bruno, who met an untimely death 20 years earlier. Alone on the windswept headland, surrounded by miles of cold sea, the past closes in on her.
As the days unfold, she finds herself drawn into a standoff between the entrepreneur Eugene Riorden and local hill farmer Paddy O’Connell. As the tension between them builds to a crisis that leaves Paddy in hospital, Martha develops a relationship with Colm, a talented but much younger musician and poet – roughly the same age that Bruno would have been if he’d lived. Caught between its history and its future, the Celtic Tiger reels with change, and Martha faces choices that will change her life forever.
Rainsongs by Sue Hubbard conjures the rugged beauty of County Kerry’s coastline and the inner landscapes of its characters in richly poetic and painterly language, moving effortlessly between the lives of people and the life of the terrain as well as between the forces that shape character and the world. It unfolds as a compelling tale of grief, art and the fragile, quiet ways in which time and place can offer a measure of redemption.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sue Hubbard is an art critic, novelist and poet who has contributed regularly to a wide range of publications including the New Statesman and The Independent, and has also written for The Sunday Times and Observer. She has contributed to many arts programs including Kaleidoscope and Night Waves.
As a two-time winner of the London Writers’ Award, her poems have been read on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4. She is well known for her poem Eurydice – London’s largest public art poem – which stretches across Waterloo station, made possible by a grant from BFI and The Art’s Council. Rainsongs is Sue Hubbard‘s third novel.
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