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Eason Exclusive: Nothing But Blue Sky by Kathleen MacMahon

Nothing But Blue Sky is a precise and tender story of love in marriage - a gripping examination of what binds couples together and of what keeps them apart.

We're delighted to welcome bestselling author Kathleen MacMahon to tell us more about her new bestseller and upcoming book recommendations.

It’s always hard to trace the idea for a novel back to its source, but in the case of ‘Nothing But Blue Sky’ the starting point was a holiday village on Catalonia’s Costa Brava. I’d been going there with my family for years when the idea came to me of locating a novel there and building it around the annual holiday as a way of following the changes in a couple’s marriage over the years. It’s ironic that it’s being published this year, when none of us can leave the island, but hopefully readers will enjoy reading about a sun holiday even if they can’t go on one.

I’m planning on spending my own holiday in Connemara this year, so I’ll be stocking up seriously on reading material in the (likely) event of some rain. My first recommendation – in keeping with the rainy holiday setting – is ‘Summerwater,’ by Sarah Moss. It’s set on a single day at a holiday resort in the Scottish highlands. The novel devotes a chapter each to twelve occupants of the resort’s cabins as they spend the day watching the rain - and each other. Her previous novel, ‘Ghost Wall,’ was a stunner and this one is more gentle but equally good.

I was lucky to get an advance copy of ‘Strange Flowers,’ by Donal Ryan, and I think it’s his best yet. The writing is exquisite, and the story – of the loves of four generations of a County Tipperary family – is deeply moving. I also loved Elaine Feeney’s ‘As You Were’. Set in a Galway hospital ward, it’s the story of a woman who’s chosen to hide her terminal cancer diagnosis from everyone, including her husband and children. It’s funny and brave and angry and every line of it rings true.

All three are published on the same day – the 20th of August – but available for pre-order now.

Kathleen MacMahon