Book of the month: All We Shall Know

Eithne Farry reviews the new novel by Donal Ryan


Book of the month: All We Shall Know

From the devastating opening lines: ‘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…’ to the unexpected, moving conclusion, Ryan’s third novel is an elegant, unflinching, entirely brilliant look at the waywardness of desire.

Narrator, Melody Shee, is married, treacherously unhappy and full to the brim with toxic guilt about the past – and a teenage friendship that went bad – and the present, with all its complications.

Caught in a spiral of self-loathing, she chronicles her careening emotions with a heart-searing honesty that is raw, but utterly riveting. 

All We Shall Know by Donal Ryan (Doubleday, £12.99) is out now.

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