Kate O'Brien's first novel, Without My Cloak, is a riveting portrait of three generations of an Irish family: of matches made and lost for the sake of respectability, of divided loyalties, and of freedom suppressed by both religion and the pride of the family name.
When Anthony Considine creeps into Mellick town with a stolen horse in 1789, it sets the destiny of his family for decades to come. By the 1850s, through thrift and hard work, his son Honest John has made the Considines a leading Mellick family. With his father's money, John's son Anthony builds a grand country house for his wife and children - but especially for his youngest son Denis, who he adores, little knowing that one day Denis will threaten the toil of generations with his love for a peasant girl . . .
Reading WITHOUT MY CLOAK was the first time I realised how powerful the small ordinary family life story can be - Maeve Binchy
A peculiarly beautiful and arresting piece of fiction - J.B. Priestly
Rush out for the works of Kate O'Brien. You are in for a treat - Val Hennessy