In 1981, at the height of the Troubles, 18-year-old Fergus McCann lives in Northern Ireland, just across the border from the Republic. Fergus and his uncle Tally find a child's body buried in peat; her origins are mysterious. IRA bombings are so common they are barely news anymore. Fergus's older brother, Joe, is in prison for terrorist activity. There is a hunger strike protest in the prison and prisoners are dying. Amid all this bleakness shines the triumph of human spirit. First love. Courage. Hope.
Siobhan Dowd was an Irish author of immense talent. She died of breast cancer last year. All three of her novels, A Swift, Pure Cry, The London Eye Mystery, and Bog Child are luminous.