When Mahony returns to Mulderrig, a speck of a place on Ireland's west coast, he brings only his handsome face, a photograph of his too-young, long-lost mother, and a determination to do battle with the village's lies. Mahony also somehow wakes the dead from their graves, those folk who once lived here, with their foggy memories and hidden stories, floating greyly amongst the unseeing living. No one though - living or dead - will tell what happened to the teenage mother who abandoned him as a baby. Despite Mahony's certainty that more than one of them knows. Between Mulderrig's sly priest, an implacable nurse and a caustic elderly actress throwing herself into her final village play, this beautiful and blackly comic debut novel creates in crystal-clear, musical language an unforgettable world of strange kindnesses, bloody violence and buried secrets.