Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Swift Pure Cry by Siobhan Dowd

Coolbar, a tiny town in Ireland, is home to a lot of secrets. Some are well-known secrets, others are kept hidden. Shell has been raising her siblings since the death of her mother; her father, in his grief, has provided little support. When she becomes pregnant, she decides to hide her pregnancy from everyone; the baby is born dead. Then, a little while later, a baby's body is discovered in a nearby cave - it had been left in the wilderness to die. Shell finds herself under suspicion of murder, and people are wondering who the baby's father was: a local boy? the new, young priest? Or did her father, in his grief, do something unthinkable? Slowly, the secrets will unravel and the truths will have to come out.

Shell is in equal parts weary and naive; she knows little about the mechanics of human biology, and even less about how to protect herself. The 'mystery' part of the book was abundantly clearly to me when reading it, but the real drama came from watching the characters interact together, not from trying to puzzle anything out. It's a tough read with a lot of sad passages, but still a very interesting book.

Find it at IndieBound.

Read it with:
The Little Girl Who Was Too Fond of Matches by Gaetan Soucy
After by Amy Efaw
Inexcusable by Chris Lynch
The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell


  1. This sounds very interesting, and I'd like to read more books that take place in Ireland! Definitely going to keep an eye out for this one!

  2. It definitely was an interesting book. If you do read it, let me know what you think about it!