This is the Tertulia Book Club Read at present.
I loved this book myself, and was a bit nervous when I recommended it to book club (even though I am not in the Club!). At first I thought the setting of a rural village was going to be too close to home, living in a rural village myself, and maybe too twee, set in fifties Ireland. BUT alas no, Niall captures something magical in his story. The critics called it enchanting and it really is. It captures the soul of being Irish, if that makes sense and coming from inner city Dublin, it could be set there too, as he writes of the yearning for realness and authenticness, a theme so relevant still today. A beautiful read and loved by our customers.
Here is what the others say:
Longlisted for the 2020 Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction
The most enchanting novel you'll read this year, from the acclaimed author of Man Booker-longlisted History of the Rain
Change is coming to Faha, a small Irish parish unaltered in a thousand years.
For one thing, the rain is stopping. Nobody remembers when it started; rain on the western seaboard is a condition of living. But now - just as Father Coffey proclaims the coming of the electricity - the rain clouds are lifting. Seventeen-year-old Noel Crowe is idling in the unexpected sunshine when Christy makes his first entrance into Faha, bringing secrets for which he needs to atone. Though he can't explain it, Noel knows right then: something has changed.
As the people of Faha anticipate the endlessly procrastinated advent of the electricity, and Noel navigates his own coming-of-age and his fallings in and out of love, Christy's past gradually comes to light, casting a new glow on a small world.
Harking back to a simpler time, This Is Happiness is a tender portrait of a community - its idiosyncrasies and traditions, its paradoxes and kindnesses, its failures and triumphs - and a coming-of-age tale like no other. Luminous and lyrical, yet anchored by roots running deep into the earthy and everyday, it is about the power of stories: their invisible currents that run through all we do, writing and rewriting us, and the transforming light that they throw onto our world.