Beth flew the coop as soon as she could, making a life for herself in London. James, her more dutiful brother, stayed in Dublin, raising a family not far from their mother Alice.
Now Alice is dying and Beth has returned to the shabby grandeur of her childhood home to keep vigil by her mother's bedside. Unable to speak, the only way Alice feels she can bridge the gap of misunderstanding between her daughter and herself is to write letters to her seeking reconciliation.
Explores the fragile nature of a mother-daughter relationship, its hopes and expectations, its guilt and regrets. It is also an extraordinarily perceptive novel about childhood and growing old, magical and gripping in the subtlety of its telling.