All We Shall Know
'Martin Toppy is the son of a famous Traveller and the father of my unborn child. He's seventeen, I'm thirty-three. I was his teacher. I'd have killed myself by now if I was brave enough. I don't think it would hurt the baby. His little heart would stop with mine. He wouldn't feel himself leaving one world of darkness for another, his spirit untangling itself from me.' Melody Shee is alone and in trouble. Her husband doesn't take her news too well. She doesn't want to tell her father yet because he's a good man and this could break him. She's trying to stay in the moment, but the future is looming - larger by the day - while the past won't let her go. What she did to Breedie Flynn all those years ago still haunts her. It's a good thing that she meets Mary Crothery when she does. Mary is a young Traveller woman, and she knows more about Melody than she lets on. She might just save Melody's life. Donal Ryan's new novel is breathtaking, vivid, moving and redemptive.
"Donal Ryan's new book is an enthrallingly impassioned and compassionate read, ferocious but humane. All We Shall Know acknowledges the acts of vicious self-destruction the human heart is capable of, but does not accept the irreparability of such acts. To his raw, wounded and grieving characters Donal Ryan says: If you are still breathing, you can be redeemed." -- Colin Barrett "I read it with enormous pleasure. He is a remarkably imaginative and beautiful user of the language. This book is very moving and true. I love the truth in his work." -- Jennifer Johnston "All We Shall Know is really very good. All that we've come to expect from Donal: great humanity and an uncanny sense of place but this time - and at last! - we have a man writing from a woman's point of view in a totally convincing and non-patronising way." -- Christine Dwyer Hickey "Donal Ryan's finest and surest novel yet is a touching, unsentimental tale... Ryan's empathy for his women adds depth, power and humanity to a layered story of love, betrayal and redemption." RTE Guide "Ryan's third novel is an elegant, unflinching, entirely brilliant look at the waywardness of desire... searing honesty that is raw but utterly riveting." Psychologies magazine
Donal Ryan is from Nenagh in County Tipperary. His first two novels, The Spinning Heart and The Thing About December, and his short story collection A Slanting of the Sun, have all been published to major acclaim. The Spinning Heart won the Guardian First Book Award, the EU Prize for Literature (Ireland), and Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards; it was shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award; and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Desmond Elliott Prize. The Thing About December was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Novel of the Year and Novel of the Year at the Irish Book Awards, and the title story of A Slanting of the Sun won the writing.ie Short Story of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. His third novel, All We Shall Know, will be published in autumn 2016. Donal holds a Writing Fellowship at the University of Limerick. He lives with his wife Anne Marie and their two children just outside Limerick City.