It's ten years on from the first winter gathering, when four of Maggie Quinn's closest friends rushed in to spend Christmas with her after her husband walked out just days before. And at Christmas, it doesn't take long for an event to become a tradition. But this Christmas Day, for the first time, there's an addition to the party, in the form of a young, very handsome man. Only one of the women knows what he's doing there, and she's remaining tight-lipped. So begins a new chapter in the lives of the five friends. As the winter moves towards spring, each faces personal hurdles, from family difficulties to illness to the unexpected reappearance of Maggie's ex. Throughout, each proves that friends truly are the family you choose -- and that, ultimately, the magic of Christmas can arrive at any time of year.
A jewel of a story Sunday Independent An Irish storyteller in full stride... exemplary skill Irish Times A writer fully in charge of her craft... impeccable Sunday Tribune An audacious novel... An absorbing, needling read -- Helen Dunmore, The Times Spellbindng... fascinating and provocative...[Deirdre Purcell has] a new masterpiece on her hands Irish Independent Written in her customary incisive prose...Purcell's book balances the warmth of friendships against darker issues of illness and everyday family crises Irish Mail on Sunday Refreshing Sunday Business Post
Deirdre Purcell was born and brought up in Dublin, and educated there and in a County Mayo convent. Before turning to the writing of fiction, she lived through an eclectic set of careers, including acting, as a member of the permanent company of Ireland's National Theatre (The Abbey), and journalism for all media - for which she won Ireland's top awards.