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  • JM Originals

Penny Baps: A John Murray Original

Kevin Doherty

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Family & relationships

The relationship between brothers is seldom straightforward

'He won't tell Dan about the trees yet. In the spring maybe, when he knows if they're living or dead. Cahir is the right man for a secret. The great secrets of the world are best kept by fat boys and girls. Fat boys like Cahir with no shortage of capacity or cover or practice, the ones who've been hoarding for years, building heft in the quiet when backs were turned.'

Cahir and Dan grew up on Inishowen, in north Donegal. It is their last year at home together. When his brother leaves, Cahir will be left behind, but he has plans too.

Cahir plants trees outside the town, on a scrap of ground belonging to their mother. In a world full of badness, he wants to do something good. It is a secret, even from Dan.

Dan works full time at the supermarket, content where he is. He has taken a year out before university and is messaging Lydia. If it works out with her, he might stay longer.

But the land doesn't belong to Cahir or to Dan. It has been sold to Lydia's brother and when Lydia finds Cahir tending the trees, on ground that isn't his, things spiral out of Cahir's control, threatening everything he has worked for.

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