Beneath the still surface of Claire Keegan’s stories there is often a darker or surprising or shocking element. This story is no exception. While I nearly went with the story, ‘The Ginger Rogers Sermon’, from her debut collection, Antarctica, which shares similar qualities, I instead settled on the titular story of her second collection. It is difficult to describe what happens without giving too much of the story away. Only to say that, told in clear, vivid, and unaffected prose, it is an achingly beautiful and melancholy story that lingers long in the memory and the heart. A story about love and faith, disappointment and regret, and as it draws to a close, the hope of restoration and peace.
Collected in Walk The Blue Fields, Faber, 2007