“Gripping from the first page. The period setting, the characters are so real, they live with you. I found I missed them after I’d closed the last page. A fantastic read.”
Siobhan McKenna, best-selling author
Diarmuid Hudner’s second novel is both a tragic and inspirational story, illuminating the unrelenting spirit of a family, desperately trying to stay together, against the authorities will to remove their youngest child. The novel is set at the end of the 18th century in England, in the small rural village of Millvale. It depicts the struggle of the Blackman family, whose whole way of life is irreversibly altered when the elder of two teenage daughters, dies giving birth to an illegitimate, deformed child. Rather than allowing him to be taken away and institutionalised, the family go to extreme lengths to conceal him. Out of necessity and misfortune, more people find out about the boy’s existence, and are drawn into the conspiracy to hide him, risking their own livelihoods and future in the process. Vividly accurate in its description of emotions, it draws the reader to live this family’s story in every moment with acorns of wisdom that will linger in your mind long after you thought you had gathered them all.