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113 pages

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Inspired by Gráinne’s Sunday Times Audible Award longlisted short story FURTHER WEST. Showcasing the author's talent for empathy and observation. West Coast of Ireland setting. A story of forgiveness, resilience, and the power of the sea to unlock what we are most afraid to say.



Publié par
Date de parution 12 octobre 2022
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781915054364
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,1000€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


‘Reading it was an immersive and absorbing experience. I found myself effortlessly drawn into the three characters’ separate but connected inner conflicts, their pain hauntingly real and etched so subtly and believably against the powerful background of storm, sea and sky.’
Joanna Glen , author of The Other Half of Augusta Hope, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award

‘In peeling back the veneer of rural Irish existence, so deftly and without flinching, to reveal the often terrible but also at times heartbreaking and utterly beautiful universality of the local, this is a novel that sings with refined truths. The characters who populate Winter People are those we glance at every day without realising that each of them is an entire world within the world, fully and truly existing and, occasionally, for better and for worse, colliding. Gráinne Murphy has crafted a stunning and profoundly moving piece of work, one that deserves a broad and enthusiastic readership. It’s a book that won’t be easily forgotten.’
Billy O ’ Callaghan , author of The Boatman , a Costa Short Story Award finalist

‘Compassionate, contemplative, and absorbing. Winter People takes a quiet yet clear look at family, love and loss, and the ways in which people might heal.’
Claire Fuller , bestselling author of Unsettled Ground , winner of the Costa Novel Award 2021

‘A subtle, addictive, beautifully written story of intertwined lives.’
Lissa Evans , Sunday Times bestselling author of Old Baggage

‘ Winter People is a beautifully written novel about three vulnerable, endearing characters whose lives intertwine in the bleak, alluring winter of West Cork. There is a gentleness and depth here that is engrossing.’
Anne Griffin , bestselling author of When All Is Said


Gráinne Murphy

Legend Press Ltd, 51 Gower Street, London, WC1E 6HJ
info@legendpress.co.uk | www.legendpress.co.uk

Contents © Gráinne Murphy 2022
The right of the above author to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data available.

Print ISBN 978-1-91505-435-7
Ebook ISBN 978-1-91505-436-4
Set in Times. Printing managed by Jellyfish Solutions Ltd
Cover design by Rose Cooper | www.rosecooper.com

Excerpt from Matthew Sweeney’s My Life as a Painter (Bloodaxe Books, 2018) is reproduced with permission of Bloodaxe Books.

Winter People received financial assistance from the Arts Council of Ireland

All characters, other than those clearly in the public domain, and place names, other than those well-established such as towns and cities, are fictitious and any resemblance is purely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher. Any person who commits any unauthorised act in relation to this publication may be liable to criminal prosecution and civil claims for damages.

Gráinne Murphy grew up in rural West Cork, Ireland. At university she studied Applied Psychology and Forensic Research. In 2011 she moved with her family to Brussels for 5 years. She has now returned to West Cork, working as a self-employed language editor specialising in human rights and environmental issues.
Gráinne’s debut novel Where the Edge Is was published by Legend Press in 2020 and The Ghostlights was published in 2021.

Visit Gráinne

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For Mum & Dad – for showing me that reading is the closest thing to magic and then letting me read all the books








‘It’s all there, you know. It’s all in the sea.
The battle is there, the inevitability of it all,
the purpose.’
(Matthew Sweeney , Dialogue with an Artist )


They had a lie-in, herself and Laddy. A fat morning, the French called it, with their characteristic keen interest in size and shape. It would be more accurate to say she let the dog have a lie-in; Sis herself was awake before dawn. She woke with the birds. She could have stretched across the bed to turn on the clock radio that still sat on Frank’s locker, but that risked waking Laddy, and the poor old creature needed his rest. She had pretended not to hear him when he heaved himself onto the bed during the night, too old anymore for stealth. He was a long way from the shivering pup intended for the rain barrel. When Tom Creed’s bitch had yet another litter, Laddy was the last in line to be drowned, but one of the grandchildren came in before they could do the job. ‘Such crying and carrying on,’ Tom told her, leaning on the door frame, the little dog in a straw-filled cardboard box on the front step. ‘You’re under no obligation to say yes. She’ll never know which or whether.’ Frank reached past Sis and lifted him out of the box. ‘Boys oh boys, aren’t you a lucky little laddy all the same?’ he said to the pup, and that was enough about it.
Sis didn’t begrudge Laddy the rest today – couldn’t she have the radio all the day long, and wasn’t the sea better company? The wind had picked up overnight and was hurrying the waves a little faster than they would have liked. She could hear their resistance in the way they slapped off the rocks, their cross withdrawal. Beside her, Laddy whuffled in his sleep. Dreaming of a river or a run or a rabbit. She could give him another half an hour. He deserved it. She had the world to do and precious little time to do it, but no matter. Let the wind blow itself out before their morning walk. If they wanted a fat morning, a fat morning they would have. Whose business was it but their own?

Sis pulled the back door closed behind her and snapped the lead on to Laddy’s collar. She stopped briefly at the gable wall, bracing herself for the wind waiting for them on the other side. Then she faced into it, planting her feet carefully and holding on to Laddy for ballast. They both knew the lead was for her more than him.
The blinds were still down on the Blue House as they passed. ‘We’re not the only lay-abeds this morning,’ she told the dog, but his tail wag was half-hearted. He was more interested in the fox shit along the verge of the road.
They made their way to the concrete steps that led down onto the beach. When she was a girl, there were no steps here, just a grassy bank you had to scramble down and clamber up. For years she had mourned its loss, but wasn’t she glad of the steps now? Much good the beach would be to her if she had to look at it from her window like an invalid.
At the top of the steps, she bent to the concrete base of the newel post and picked up the good-sized stone that lay there, placing it in her pocket before tackling the steps. She dropped the lead, even though there was little fear Laddy would pull ahead and trip her – he was as slow as she was – but if she were to fall, she wouldn’t like him to think it was his fault.
Once she reached the sand, she turned right, towards Bunty’s Cove. It meant walking into the wind, but it was as well to have it at her back on the return trip.
They progressed down towards the sea where the sand was more compact. Laddy sniffed around the edges of the waves before squatting to do his business – not so near there was any danger of getting his arse wet but close enough that the sea would shortly tidy it away for her with no need for all the fumbling. Those little bags were nothing but a curse. What must dogs think of them at all, gathering up their shit as if to preserve it like treasure.
She gave Laddy his privacy, turning instead to look at her little house set into the shallow hollow scooped out of the landscape. There were just the two houses on this stretch, her own and the Blue House. If they walked in the opposite direction, away from Bunty’s Cove, they would reach the hotel. Closed now for the season, it would open the week before Christmas for well-heeled weddings, then open fully after Christmas for the families worn out from the effort of being together.
Her own little house was looking well. Danny Creed had painted it a handsome dark green the spring before Frank died and it was holding nicely two years on. At the time, Frank had complained about the cost, but it was worth every penny.
Beside it, the Blue House was too big. Too blue. When the owners knocked the old cottage that stood there and began to build something new in its place, Frank watched its progress with keen interest, shaking his head over all their perceived missteps.
‘They had right to renovate the cottage,’ he said, every inch the armchair architect. ‘A two-storey perpendicular extension would have been a far better job.’
‘Don’t go getting any ideas,’ Sis told him, but it was just something to say, certain as she was that her own house would stay the way it was until they were both gone from it.
When she could no longer get him from the bed to the living room, she gave him updates on the progress of the Blue House. Even after work stopped, she made things up for him, describing the arrival of slates and paving slabs, a Belfast sink – ‘back in favour,’ he said approvingly – a cl

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