Publisher Nan A. Talese Books/Knopf, Penguin Random House, June 20, 2017
Siobhan Doyle grew up with her Uncle Kee at their family pub, the Leeside, in rural Ireland. Kee has been staunchly overprotective of Siobhan ever since her mother’s death in an IRA bombing, but now that she’s an adult, it’s clear that in protecting her, Kee has unwittingly kept her in a state of arrested development. The pair are content to remain forever in their quiet haven, reading and discussing Irish poetry, but for both Siobhan and Kee, fate intervenes.
A visiting American literary scholar awakens Siobhan to the possibility of a fulfilling life away from The Leeside. And her relationship with Kee falters after the revelation that her father is still alive. In the face of these changes, Siobhan reaches a surprising decision about her future. Lyrical and heartfelt, Kathleen Anne Kenney’s Girl on the Leeside deserves a place alongside contemporary literature’s best-loved coming-of-age novels.
“In its hauntingly evocative Irish setting, this is a book suffused with poetry—real poetry. It is a book of awakenings of every kind, and of moving surprises. Like all good stories, as this local tale unfolds it becomes universal.”
—Edward Rutherfurd, Author of Paris and The Princes of Ireland