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‘Rule 1: When you’re dancing, shoulders back and point your toes.

Rule 2: Keep your thumbs clear when you’re chopping vegetables.

Rule 3: Don’t go wandering through the house without permission.’


But how to make any sense of Home Rule? This is the question ten-year old Brede asks herself.

Homeless and destitute, she and her Aunt Kate are employed as the only Catholics in the household of the beautiful spendthrift Adelina Thompson and her bullying husband, Alexander. But what is it that Brede sees that forces her to flee with her aunt in terror?

Taken into the home of William Henderson, a Protestant supporter of Irish Home Rule, Brede is the mute and uncomprehending witness to the unfolding political and personal events, and to a love affair that will culminate in murder. 

Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of research or private study, or criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, this publication may only be reproduced, stored or transmitted, in any form or by any means, with the prior permission in writing of the publishers, or in the case of reprographic reproduction in accordance with the terms of licences issued by the Copyright Licensing Agency. Enquiries concerning reproduction outside those terms should be sent to the publishers.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

ISBN 978 1838597 054    British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data.  A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

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Set in 19th century Ulster, the way the child narrator views the world during one of the most troubled periods in Irish history is shared with us in an original and enthralling account.First Novel Prize

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