Gone Are The Leaves
Feilamort can remember little of his childhood before he became a choir boy in the home of the Laird and his French wife. Feilamort has one of the finest voices in the land. It is a gift he believes will protect him . . . Deirdre has lived in the castle all her short life. Apprentice to her mother, she embroiders the robes for one of Scotland’s finest families. She can capture, with just a few delicate stitches, the ripeness of a bramble or the glint of bronze on a fallen leaf. But with her mother pushing her to choose between a man she does not love and a closed world of prayer and solitude, Deirdre must decide for herself what her life will become. When the time comes for Feilamort to make an awful decision, his choice catapults himself and Deirdre head-first into adulthood. As the two friends learn more about Feilamort’s forgotten childhood, it becomes clear that someone close is intent on keeping it hidden. Full of wonder and intrigue, and told with the grace and charm for which Anne Donovan is so beloved, Gone Are the Leaves is the enchanting story of one boy’s lost past and his uncertain future.
Gone Are The Leaves is a poetic and deftly-crafted tale, richly told in magical language – a quest for purity, truth and ultimately, love. With consummate skill, Anne Donovan has produced a wonder of daring and passion, a mythical page-turner. (Kitty Aldridge, the Baileys Prize-longlisted author of A Trick I Learned from Dead Men)
A beautiful tale . . . with such a passion for the language, and such an ear for its rhythms and alliterations, you’ll find yourself wishing all books could be written like this. Perhaps it’s too far to suggest that this was the book Donovan was born to write, but it fits her like a glove. (Scotsman)
Things are never dull in the O’Connell family. Still, Fiona, squeezed between her quiet brother and her mischievous line-dancing twin sisters, thinks life in their tenement flat is far less interesting than Emily Bronte’s. But tragedy is not confined to Victorian novels. And life for Fiona in this happy domestic setup is about to change forever. Following the devastating events of a single day, her family can never be the same. But perhaps, new relationships will develop – built on a solid foundation of love. Moving, funny and ultimately heart-warming, Being Emily is a wonderful novel about one young girl trying to find her place in the world amid the turmoil that only your own family can create.
Wonderfully fresh and moving. (The Times)
A sparky story … buzzing with Glaswegian patois, this is a charming coming-of-real-life novel. ( Good Housekeeping)
Anne Marie’s Da, a Glaswegian painter and decorator, has always been game for a laugh. So when he first takes up meditation at the Buddhist Centre, no one takes him seriously (especially when his pursuit of the new lama ends in a trip round the Carmunnock bypass). But as Jimmy becomes more involved in a search for the spiritual, his beliefs start to come into conflict with the needs of his wife, Liz. Cracks appear in their apparently happy family life, and the ensuing events change the lives of each family member.
Quirky and endearing. Don’t wait until your next life to read it. (Sunday Herald )
An enchanting novel in which ordinary lives are illuminated with extraordinary charm. (Daily Telegraph)
Hieroglyphics and Other Stories
A beautiful collection – charming, witty and touching – these stories give voice to a variety of different characters: from the little girl who wants to look ‘subtle’ for her father’s funeral, a child who has an email pen pal on Jupiter and an old lady who becomes a star through ‘zimmerobics’. Often writing in a vibrant Glaswegian vernacular, Donovan deftly gives her characters authenticity with a searing power, aided and abetted by tender subtlety.
Hieroglyphics and Other Stories is Donovan’s excellent debut collection . . . Donovan illuminates exactly the dislocations and intensifications that occur within a relationship, whether between lovers or mother and child. (Daily Telegraph)
A page-turner to make you laugh and cry. (Donny O’Rourke, Scotsman)
Review: The Short Review