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The Herbalist

Literary


by
Niamh Boyce

Book Details

Format: EPUB

Page count: 320 pages

Protection: DRM

Language: English

The Herbalist is the electrifying first novel from Niamh Boyce, winner of the 2012 Hennesssy XO Award for New Irish Writing. A devastating and emotional story of yearning and obsession in 1930s rural Ireland, in its freshness and immediacy, The Herbalist will appeal to fans of Edna O’Brien and Patrick McCabe.

Out of nowhere the herbalist appears one morning and sets up shop in the market square of a dull midlands town. In this place where everything is a shade of brown or grey, the black man wearing the pale suit and straw hat is the lightest thing there. The townspeople call him The Don and with his potions and lotions the exotic stranger seems to have a cure for all that ails them.

Teenager Emily is enchanted. In the herbalist she sees a Clark Gable to her Jean Harlow, a Fred to her Ginger – a man to make her forget her lowly status in this place where respectability is everything. The herbalist gladly accepts her devotion.

But Emily has competition for the herbalist’s attentions. The women of the town – the women from the big houses and their maids, the shopkeepers and their serving girls, the ones who oblige the town’s men and the pious women who turn a blind eye – they all seem mesmerised by this visitor who can perform miracles. Rumours swirl and the herbalist thrives.

Emily may be motherless, ignorant and full of foolish dreams, but she has a fierce sense of right and wrong. And by the end of that summer Emily has discovered the dark side of the herbalist. But how big a sacrifice is she prepared to make to force him to pay for his sins against the women of the town?

The Herbalist is a riveting story about the shadow side of Irish life – the snobbery, the fear of sex, the tragedy of women destroyed by social convention and the bravery of those who defied it. It is an unforgettable story from a rare new talent.

In addition to winning the 2012 Hennessy New Writing Award, Niamh Boyce has been shortlisted for the 2011 Francis McManus Short Story competition, the 2010 Hennessy Literary Awards, the 2010 Molly Keane Award and the 2010 WOW Award.

The Herbalist is the electrifying first novel from Niamh Boyce, winner of the 2012 Hennesssy XO Award for New Irish Writing. A devastating and emotional story of yearning and obsession in 1930s rural Ireland, in its freshness and immediacy, The Herbalist will appeal to fans of Edna O’Brien and Patrick McCabe.

Out of nowhere the herbalist appears one morning and sets up shop in the market square of a dull midlands town. In this place where everything is a shade of… (more)

The Herbalist is the electrifying first novel from Niamh Boyce, winner of the 2012 Hennesssy XO Award for New Irish Writing. A devastating and emotional story of yearning and obsession in 1930s rural Ireland, in its freshness and immediacy, The Herbalist will appeal to fans of Edna O’Brien and Patrick McCabe.

Out of nowhere the herbalist appears one morning and sets up shop in the market square of a dull midlands town. In this place where everything is a shade of brown or grey, the black man wearing the pale suit and straw hat is the lightest thing there. The townspeople call him The Don and with his potions and lotions the exotic stranger seems to have a cure for all that ails them.

Teenager Emily is enchanted. In the herbalist she sees a Clark Gable to her Jean Harlow, a Fred to her Ginger – a man to make her forget her lowly status in this place where respectability is everything. The herbalist gladly accepts her devotion.

But Emily has competition for the herbalist’s attentions. The women of the town – the women from the big houses and their maids, the shopkeepers and their serving girls, the ones who oblige the town’s men and the pious women who turn a blind eye – they all seem mesmerised by this visitor who can perform miracles. Rumours swirl and the herbalist thrives.

Emily may be motherless, ignorant and full of foolish dreams, but she has a fierce sense of right and wrong. And by the end of that summer Emily has discovered the dark side of the herbalist. But how big a sacrifice is she prepared to make to force him to pay for his sins against the women of the town?

The Herbalist is a riveting story about the shadow side of Irish life – the snobbery, the fear of sex, the tragedy of women destroyed by social convention and the bravery of those who defied it. It is an unforgettable story from a rare new talent.

In addition to winning the 2012 Hennessy New Writing Award, Niamh Boyce has been shortlisted for the 2011 Francis McManus Short Story competition, the 2010 Hennessy Literary Awards, the 2010 Molly Keane Award and the 2010 WOW Award.

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