The Island Child

Molly Aitken

The Island Child by Molly Aitken (Paperback ISBN 9781786898340) book cover

Available as Paperback, eBook, Downloadable audio

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, longlisted for the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award


‘Thrillingly original’ Naoise Dolan
‘Exquisite’ Daily Telegraph

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.

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 …

“An exquisite debut from an exciting new voice in Irish fiction”
daily Telegraph

See more reviews

“Like the casts of fairy stories, Aitken’s characters can stand for as much as you want them to – but they’re also fully realised individuals who come to you through peeks and glances, so that without being able to pinpoint how it happened, you know them, and feel you always have. This is a thrillingly original debut, and I can’t wait to see what Aitken does next”
Naoise Dolan, Author Of Exciting Times

“A haunting tale about the power and danger in a mother’s love”
irish Times

“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

“An intriguing debut about motherhood, the trauma we inherit and the inescapability of fate … The joy of this book is in Aitken’s prose, which is exquisite … Aitken is an exciting new voice in Irish literature”
irish Independent

Molly Aitken

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 and was longlisted for the Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award.