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In this “delicate slow burn of a novel” (Jan Carson), a woman’s marriage and career are threatened by an old indiscretion just as she receives the opportunity of a lifetime—from the award–winning author of the “extraordinary” (Colum McCann) Dinosaurs on Other Planets.
Nessa McCormack’s marriage is coming back together again after her husband’s affair. She is excited to be in charge of a retrospective art exhibition for a beloved artist, the renowned late sculptor Robert Locke. But the arrival of two enigmatic outsiders imperils both her personal and professional worlds: A chance encounter with an old friend threatens to expose a betrayal Nessa thought she had long put behind her; and at work, an odd woman comes forward with a mysterious connection to Robert Locke’s life and his most famous work, the Chalk Sculpture.
As Nessa finds the past intruding on the present, she realizes she must decide what is the truth, whether she can continue to live with a lie, and what the consequences might be were she to fully unravel the mysteries in both the life of Robert Locke and her own. In this gripping and wonderfully written debut, Danielle McLaughlin reveals profound truths about love, power, and the secrets that define us.
Danielle McLaughlin’s stories have appeared in The New Yorker, The Irish Times, The Stinging Fly, and various anthologies. She has won the William Trevor/Elizabeth Bowen International Short Story Competition, the Willesden Herald International Short Story Prize, the Merriman Short Story Competition in memory of Maeve Binchy, and the Dromineer Literary Festival short story competition. McLaughlin lives in County Cork, Ireland.
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