Seeds of Doubt
Everyone in Templeard had a role to play. Ammie was a beauty, Aunt Cassie had the house to run, Macken the farm. The girls, Flossie, Nora, Margaret, Ber and Girlie were secure in their world: everything as solid as the stones of the house itself, as hopeful as the green fields that stretched to the edge of their horizon. They were the Mackens of Templeared. Nothing, not the events of one terrible autumn day, nor the years of loss that followed, could breach the walls they built around themselves. But the seeds of doubt were growing in the silence surrounding those events, slowly turning their fortress into a prison.
From an idyllic beginning, James Ryan weaves a tale of six lives: Flossie, Margaret, Ber, Girlie and Nora, the girl with the voice of a linnet. The sixth life is one they never see, cannot speak of, or listen to, but which grows nonetheless. Probing these lives, and showing how each influenced others, James Ryan creates a novel of great depth and beauty. The story he tells could be a story of defeated lives, but somehow, told as it is without accusation, it becomes a story of love, power and resilience.
In this, his third novel, James Ryan returns to the landscape of Ireland and the lives of the people wedded to it which made his first novel, HOME FROM ENGLAND, so resonant.