A rich, haunting and deeply moving novel about the power and the danger in a mother’s love, from one of the most exciting new voices in Irish fiction
Twenty years ago, Oona left the island of Inis for the very first time. A wind-blasted rock of fishing boats and turf fires, where girls stayed in their homes until they became mothers themselves, the island was a gift for some, a prison for others. Oona was barely more than a girl, but promised herself she would leave the tall tales behind and never return.
The Island Child tells two stories: of the girl who grew up watching births and betrayals, storms and secrets, and of the adult Oona, desperate to find a second chance, only to discover she can never completely escape. As the strands of Oona’s life come together, in blood and marriage and motherhood, she must accept the price we pay when we love what is never truly ours …
Rich, haunting and rooted in Irish folklore, The Island Child is a spellbinding debut novel about identity and motherhood, freedom and fate, and the healing power of stories.
“It’s a rare pleasure to come across quite such an accomplished novel as The Island Child. This is a work positively brimming with pathos and emotion, articulated in truly exquisite prose. Oona is a captivating narrator. She’s alive on the page”
Nathan Filer Author Of The Shock Of The Fall
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”The Island Child is the story of a mother’s relationship with a misbegotten daughter, sensitively and subtly told”
Fay Weldon Author Of Praxis
“A magical, elemental tale. Exploring loss and love, motherhood and freedom and the transformative power of stories, The Island Child is a wonderful debut”
Jess Kidd Author Of Things In Jars
“Aitken stitches together many themes — folk legend, family saga, love story, coming of age tale. The result is the sort of book you want to sink into a hot bath with and not emerge until it’s finished”
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan Author Of Harmless Like You And Starling Days
“A beautiful wrench of a book. I can still feel it tingling under my skin”
Katie Hale Author Of My Name Is Monster
Molly Aitken was born in Scotland in 1991 and brought up in Ireland. She studied Literature and Classics at Galway University and has an MA in Creative Writing from Bath Spa. She was shortlisted for Writing Magazine’s fairy tale retelling prize in 2016 and has a story in the Irish Imbas 2017 Short Story Collection. Currently, she works as an editor and ghostwriter and lives in Sheffield. The Island Child is her debut novel.