Distinctive talent’s debut work

This first collection of short stories from Galway-based writer Aileen Armstrong is an intriguing blend of narratives that pulls you into the uneasy world of its characters. Individuals recur from story to story, but the connections are only ever hinted at, never explained, leaving the reader searching for clues. The disparate cast are uncertain and unsettled, gripped by change and adrift in their own lives, with stories alternating between steamy southern France and the damp chill of the west of Ireland. This collection marks the arrival of a distinctive style and approach, and it will be interesting to see where Armstrong’s writing goes from here. A truly local publication – published by Doire Press in Inverin and printed by Clódoirí CL in Casla – this is a beautifully presented volume that deserves to be mulled over, rather than raced through.