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Two monks leave seventh-century Ireland in a boat searching for an isolated spot to found a new monastery, but instead drift out to sea and wind up on a bare, steep island inhabited by thousands of birds. 100,000 first printing. - (Baker & Taylor)

Author Biography

Born in Dublin in 1969, and now living in Canada, Emma Donoghue writes fiction (novels and short stories, contemporary and historical, most recently The Pull of the Stars), as well as drama for screen and stage. Room, was a New York Times Best Book of 2010 and a finalist for the Man Booker, Commonwealth, and Orange Prizes, selling between two and three million copies in forty languages. Donoghue was nominated for an Academy Award for her 2015 adaptation starring Brie Larson. She co-wrote the screenplay for the film of her 2016 novel The Wonder, starring Florence Pugh, coming from Netflix. For more information, visit

- (Grand Central Pub)

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Reviews Via Publishers Weekly

PW Annex Reviews

Donoghue (The Pull of the Stars) returns with an intricate slow-burn about three monks who start a monastery on an isolated island in seventh-century Ireland. As it opens, priest Artt dreams about an island where he believes he's to pilgrimage with two others to found a monastic retreat. He picks the old monk Cormac, a skilled builder and gardener, and the young monk Trian, a piper, and both men pledge their lives to him. They set off on a small boat in search of the haven, and on the fifth day they see two islands jutting from the water. They land on the bigger one, a steep cathedral of rock possessed by an army of birds. There, high on a plateau, Artt, the future prior, decides they will camp then build, soon putting Cormac to work on a great cross and Trian on copying the Bible. As the prior turns a deaf ear to the others' concerns about dwindling supplies, tensions rise over his monastic demands and their narrowing chances of survival as summer dips into fall. The slow pacing tends to wear, but the narrative picks up toward the end with a surprising twist. Patient readers will be rewarded with a thoughtful tale of faith, isolation, and blind obedience. Agent: Kathleen Anderson, Anderson Literary. (Aug.)

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