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Polly Devlin grew up in County Tyrone, on the shores of Lough Neagh, in the fifties — but it might as well have been another time and place altogether. In this memoir she describes in witty, spontaneous and idiosyncratic prose her life as one of seven siblings in a Catholic family in Northern Ireland.

‘A brooding, evocative study of Irish childhood, of the strong bonds of love and jealousy that sisters especially feel, the guilt-ridden pressures of religion, the magical countryside, the eccentric villagers. A hauntingly lovely work … beautifully written with poetic intensity which seems to encapsulate the Irish character with all its wit and bitterness and gift for words’ HOMES AND GARDENS


She conjures places as vividly as feelings, and feelings as exactly as her surroundings. She reinvents the past with the aid of photographic prose, an album not only for herself and her sisters in Ireland, but full of pictures many who read this book will recognise
Touching and nostalgic
It is the only intimate and un-angry expression of the feelings of a colonised people that I have ever read
David Thomson
This many-layered reminiscence glints across the indifferent, mysterious, yet comfortable countryside, classrooms fraught with the usual student shenanigans and insecurities and the intensity of Devlin's close relationship with her five sisters.