Paul Lynch’s third novel GRACE will be published this year in North America on 11 July by Little, Brown; on 7 September in Ireland and the UK by Oneworld, and in April 2018 by Éditions Albin Michel in France.

GRACE, north American artwork

GRACE, north American artwork

GRACE, a sequel to RED SKY IN MORNING, is the epic story of a young girl and her brother on an Odyssean journey across 19th century Ireland on the eve of the Great Famine.

In advance praise, Edna O’Brien called GRACE “a beautifully written novel with a haunting story and deep echoes of the Ancients”.

Booker-nominated author Donal Ryan called GRACE “a mesmerizing, incandescent work of art. It’s all things together — a tragedy, an adventure, a romance, a coming-of-age, a searing exposition of historical truths; an interrogation of the nature of time and existence. Above all it’s a perfect story, an exhilarating, Odyssean, heart-pounding, glorious story, wrought by a novelist with the eye and the ear and the heart of an absolute master. Paul Lynch is peerless. Grace Coyle, daughter of Coll, will be one of the enduring heroines of world literature.”

The book’s synopsis is as follows: Early one October morning, Grace Coyle’s mother snatches her from sleep and brutally cuts off her hair, declaring, “You are the strong one now.” With winter close at hand and Ireland already suffering, Grace is no longer safe at home. And so her mother outfits Grace in men’s clothing and casts her out. When her younger brother Colly follows after her, the two set off on a life-changing odyssey in the looming shadow of the Great Famine.

To survive, Grace will become a boy, a bandit, a penitent and finally, a woman. A meditation on love, life and destiny, GRACE is an epic coming-of-age novel, and a poetic evocation of the Irish famine as it has never been written.