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The Island of Longing
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Description for The Island of Longing
One unremarkable afternoon, Rosie watched her daughter Saoirse cycle into town, expecting to hear the slam of the door when she returned a few hours later. But the slam never came. Eight years on, after an extensive investigation into her disappearance, Rosie is the only person who stubbornly believes that her child might still be alive. When Rosie receives a call from her father, asking her to return home for the summer, she is forced out of her limbo. Life on the island of Roaring Bay revives old rivalries, but it also brings new friendships and unexpected solace. ... Read moreYet, when a sudden glimmer of hope appears, Rosie is forced to face an impossible question: is she right to think that Saoirse is still alive? Or will her belief that her daughter will one day return to her come at the cost of everything she has left? Show Less
About Anne Griffin
Place of Publication
, United Kingdom
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Anne Griffin's first novel When All is Said was a Number One bestseller in Ireland in 2019 and chosen as the Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year in the An Post Irish Book Awards. It was also shortlisted for the John McGahern Annual Book and the RSL Christopher Bland prizes. Her second novel Listening Still was also a bestseller in ... Read moreIreland. Her work has been published in 23 territories. The Island of Longing is her third novel. She lives in Co. Westmeath, Ireland. Show Less
Reviews for The Island of Longing
Her most emotionally complex book yet . . . Gently heartbreaking, but also hopeful and uplifting. An insight into the fragility of the human condition and what holds us together when we break
One of Griffin's great gifts is how she draws small-town communities and the personalities that make them what they are ... Read more
Irish Sunday Times Culture
Woman's Own This beautiful novel about maternal love is especially moving on the back and forth between hope and acceptance.
Good Housekeeping An agonising but hauntingly beautiful tale
An elegant and moving account of family loss and reconnection, this is Anne Griffin's best novel yet.
John Boyne An immensely powerful novel by a storyteller of rare gifts
Joseph O'Connor Anne takes a deep dive into the soul of the mother of a missing child and the result is a story that is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. Beautifully written and sensitive without ever being sentimental, this is a stunning portrait by a master craftswoman. I loved it.
Liz Nugent A beautiful, emotive, heartbreaking mystery. The Island of Longing takes a quietly powerful, yet deeply hopeful, humorous and compassionate look at loss, and belonging, and the absolute agony of the unknown.
Chris Whitaker Anne Griffin is a lovely writer, and this is a lovely book . . . Oiled by the sturdy little ferry that ploughs the sea between the novel's West Cork island setting and the mainland, Griffin's story is tender and wise and ultimately life-affirming.
Kathleen MacMahon Anne Griffin's central character Rosie Driscoll will pitch your heart into a stormy sea. You'll feel as if you're right beside her in the waves of love and loss as she strikes out for safe harbour. A beautiful story, steeped in Irish brine
Tish Delaney Gripping, heart-wrenching and acutely human novel that offers a deeply empathetic view of suffering and resilience - and the many shapes that survival can take. Read this book!
Alice Ryan A powerful novel that is full of grace, this latest work of beauty proves once again that Griffin is a gorgeous storyteller full of empathy and wisdom
Helen Cullen Griffin's writing is as engaging and compassionate as ever: The Island of Longing is a superb novel that tussles with the hope and heartbreak of being alive.
Danielle McLaughlin A compelling, cleverly structured novel about loss, legacy and the healing power of community
Sarah Gilmartin With a great ear for dialogue and eye for setting, Griffin builds a real sense of what loss can do to a family.
The Style List
A beautiful novel, heartbreaking, thoroughly moving and impossible to put down, The Island of Longing further enhances Anne Griffin's standing as one of our very best writers. A sheer joy to read, and a book that deserves to hit every height
Billy O'Callaghan What do you think when the unthinkable happens? The Island of Longing transported me to West Cork to ask that very question in a moving story of family, loss and hope. It's the little details-dialogue, street names and details on the ferryboat-that made me feel at home with heroine, Rosie . . . Griffin perfectly captures the stifling isolation of grief, how claustrophobic tragedy can feel and how, sometimes, only the sea can offer relief.
Freya Bromley I sympathised with Rosie on every page . . . a suspenseful and deeply satisfying novel
Margot Livesey I absolutely loved this novel. Incredibly moving, beautifully observed, with characters so well-drawn that I felt I'd known them my whole life. Although the subject matter is achingly sad, the warmth and humanity that shines through Anne's writing makes it a total joy to read. A bittersweet story of love and loss, deftly and sensitively told, that will stick with me for a long time to come.
Rebecca Pert The Island of Longing is a moving unforgettable novel, about the burden of loss and grieving, told through Griffin's vivid prose and characteristic gentle humour. This book consumed me
Disha Bose A beautifully written tale of love, loss and human endurance, with an emotional depth that rings true.
Madeleine D'Arcy PRAISE FOR ANNE GRIFFIN: There are deep thoughts sown beneath the light and charming surfaces of Griffin's novels. Her books are fable-like, deep musings on life, mortality, and what makes a life worth living, philosophy for everyday readers, cleverly disguised as a good old-fashioned story
The next big name to emerge from the Irish writing scene.
John Boyne Ireland's long line of magical storytellers is further enriched by Anne Griffin, who follows her poignant debut When All is Said with another outstanding read