“I imagined he was the type of boy who wondered about things, as I did, who broke his heart wondering about things...”
From a brilliant new voice in Irish fiction, He Is Mine and I Have No Other is a dark, intense and gripping debut about the overwhelming nature of first love and about the devastating power of buried secrets
‘I was frightened of him in a way – of his grief, his loneliness – for he looked like the loneliest person on earth just then … the type of boy who wondered about things, as I did, who broke his heart wondering about things …’
In 1990s-small-town Ireland, amid the sweaty school discos and first fumblings of adolescence, fifteen-year-old Lani Devine falls in love with Leon Brady, whose mother is buried in the cemetery next to Lani’s house.
Lani is haunted by the stories of thirty-five orphaned girls, buried in an unmarked grave near Leon’s mother. As the love story unfolds, and then unravels, it becomes clear that Leon too is haunted – by a brutal family tragedy that has left scars much more than skin-deep.
He Is Mine and I Have No Other is a captivating, eerie and atmospheric novel about the obsessive power of first love, about the claustrophobia a tight-knit family and community can cause, and about buried secrets and the havoc they wreak.
“O’Connor writes well, with genuine grace and fluency … Powerful and searing”
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”He Is Mine And I Have No Other is a book of secrets, and it burns with the sadness and starkness particular to lives forced into secrecy and silence. And yet there is, too, in this story a lucid and beautiful happiness, fragile though it may be; the happiness of being young, and in love, and of finding that love returned. Rebecca O’Connor captures vividly the small triumphs and catastrophes of being a teenage girl in rural Ireland, but in the further darkness to which she reaches is a truth for all generations”
Belinda Mckeon, Author Of Solace And Tender
“A tender portrait of adolescence in all its rawness and sensitivity … This is both a love story and, in a sense, a ghost story. It is a small, self-contained thing, spare and unembellished in its prose style and … This extreme lightness of touch gives He Is Mine and I Have No Other a certain elegiac grace”
“I adored He is Mine and I Have No Other … Amazing, heartbreaking, brilliantly done”
Donal Ryan, Author Of The Spinning Heart And All We Shall Know
“Captures, with uncanny precision, the sheer ferociousness of teenage desire … An evocative, atmospheric and thought-provoking read”
irish Independent On Sunday
Rebecca O’Connor’s first collection of poetry We’ll Sing Blackbird was shortlisted for the Shine/Strong Award. Her writing has appeared in the Guardian, the Spectator, Poetry Review and elsewhere. She was a writer in residence at the Wordsworth Trust, the Centre for British Romanticism and is a recipient of a Geoffrey Dearmer Prize. She is co-founder and publisher of The Moth magazine. She lives in County Cavan, Ireland. He Is Mine and I Have No Other is her first novel.
@RebeccaMoth | themothmagazine.com