The Walking People

Mary Beth Keane

£14.99

Greta Cahill never believed she would leave her village in west Ireland, until she found herself on a ship bound for New York, with her sister, Johanna, and a boy named Michael Ward, a son of itinerant tinsmiths. Despite her family’s cynicism, Greta discovers that in America she can fall in love, earn a living, and build a life. She longs to return to show her family what she has made of herself, but at risk of revealing a secret about her past to her children, decides to keep her new life separate, torn from the people she is closest to. Decades later, she discovers that her children, with the best of intentions, have conspired to unite the worlds she has kept apart. And though the Ireland of her memory may bear little resemblance to that of present day, she fears it is still possible to lose it all.

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THE POWERFUL AND MOVING NOVEL OF NEW BEGINNINGS AND OLD FAMILY SECRETS FROM THE AUTHOR OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER ASK AGAIN, YES

‘An epic story about immigration, identity and family’ Hannah Beckerman, Guardian

‘The characters are so well drawn and out of the ordinary that I was quickly drawn into their story and didn’t want it to end’ 5***** Reader Review

‘A gorgeous nostalgic family drama with real characters. Loved it’ 5***** Reader Review
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1960s Rural Ireland. Greta Cahill must abandon her deserted village to follow her fearless sister Johanna on a ship bound for New York . . .

It’s here that she steps out of her sister’s shadow and into a life of her own, rich with love, work and family.

As the years pass, Greta longs to revisit the past – to see her mother, to show her what she has made of herself.

But she must protect a family secret, decades old.

So when her children conspire to unite the worlds she’s kept so carefully apart, Greta fears she could lose it all . . .

A profoundly moving, compassionate story of self-discovery, The Walking People is a powerful and compelling story about our connection to the past.
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‘Keane’s previous novel Ask Again, Yes, was on my best Books of 2019, and this is just as good. Its slow, melodic pace proves we don’t always need fast action and twists’ Prima, ‘Best Books of March’

Engrossing . . . Captures the windswept grittiness of Irish poverty as vividly as the technicolour hustle and bustle of 1960s New York. The Walking People is the kind of novel you simply don’t want to end’ Daily Express

‘Atmospheric, moving and brilliantly well-written’ Daily Mail

Praise for Mary Beth Keane:

‘A fearless writer’ Lisa Taddeo, author of Three Women

‘A novel of great compassion and understanding . . . rich with story’ John Boyne

‘I’ll read everything she writes’ Liane Moriarty, author of Big Little Lies

‘A writer of extraordinary depth, feeling and wit’ Meg Wolitzer, author of The Female Persuasion

‘Immersive and deeply moving’
Anna Hope, author of Expectation

‘It’s an absolute stunner, an ode to family and forgiveness that has been crafted with compassion and insight’ Sara Collins, author of The Confessions of Frannie Langton

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Weight0.629 kg
Dimensions24 × 16.2 × 3.6 cm
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Hardback