Recommended by the Reviewers Club

Small Things Like These, by Claire Keegan

Cover of Small Things Like These, by Claire Keegan.

It may be the shortest novel you’ve ever read, but you won’t forget it.

Set in 1985 in a small Irish town, the central character, Bill Furlong, a coal and timber merchant, does a pre-Christmas delivery which changes his life. We learn about Magdalene Laundries where “fallen” girls slaved away their days before and after their babies’ births. These were run and financed by the Catholic Church and the State. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of babies died. The last one closed in 1996.

It is written in beautiful, spare prose – a delight to read.

4/5 Stars