A stunning piece of psychological suspense from the author of Araby.
Two very different women brought together by a secret from the past.
Joan has a tentative grip on the world – she’s too trusting, soft-centred, cheery and straightforward, the sort of woman who still keeps teddy bears on her bed. By nature and by profession, Joan is a carer, employed to look after Nina Rawle, a crisp and sophisticated woman, stricken by a long-term illness. There is a very good reason why Joan has been taken on by Nina (nursing skills aside) and Nina’s tangled past in Northern Ireland, in which a single and fatal act of political passion played a destructive role, has a great deal to do with it. How and why Nina will reveal herself to Joan, whose part in Nina’s past is truly significant, makes for a tense and twisting tale.
This is a quite different novel from Araby. We have here a pure piece of storytelling, a psychological tale with more than a touch of Barbara Vine. The fantastic storytelling skills and exploration of character which made Araby such a gem are in abundance in this new novel.
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From the reviews of Araby:
‘A beautifully observed study of reconciliation. Mulrooney’s ability to make sense of the contradictions in clear, precise prose is the most remarkable achievement of the novel.’
‘Mulrooney has a real gift for dialogue, the words and phrases ring true and make her characters wonderfully real. A tenderly funny and genuinely moving piece. I loved it.’
From the reviews for Marble Heart
'Mulrooney has taken as her subject not the indigenous people of Belfast who have grown up with the troubles, but outsiders who have gatecrashed it. There is the absurd spectacle of Nina, a middle-class girl from Maidstone, and the "comrades" plotting the revolution over wine and French cheeses in a huge, inherited house. All of this is wickedly, sharply amusing. But when they really join the party with an act of meaningless terror, Mulrooney shows how constructive and contagious that situation was. And as Nina slowly takes the sweet-natured Joan as her final victim, Marble Heart proves itself to be an excellent lesson in the difference between cleverness and wisdom.' The Times
'Mulrooney slows the pace leading to the shocking denouement by deftly layering each chapter with different character's voices. She shows herself to be an acute observer of all the intricacies that comprise female friendship. By making her readers wait, she not only heightens the gripping tension of her story but positions us with Joan and Nina, who are also waiting - Joan patiently [so she] may be married; Nina fearfully, for her secret crime to be brought into the open.' Time Out
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Book Description HarperCollins UK, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: Brand New. 304 pages. 7.50x5.00x0.75 inches. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # __0006551823