Eithne is the keeper of secrets in her family. When her sister Beatrice disappeared from her home in the dark woods of Co. Meath, it was 13-year-old Eithne who uncovered the forlorn evidence of her life: a string of pearls, a pink beret, a compact and her beloved sketchbook. Their mother, Sarah, was so grief-stricken that she did not speak for five years, and her father Joe, sank further into drink-filled rage.
Now, as an adult, Eithne is an artist, and tries to remember her sister in her sketches of the dark wooded bogs behind her house. For there was something else about Beatrice that was rarely spoken of in the household, a dark, guilty secret that her disappearance only made worse. And now, almost twenty years later, all could be revealed when a stranger appears . . .
Framed by Eithne's journey to discover the truth about her sister, with the magic and beauty of art running through it, this is a richly compelling, haunting story of family secrets, passion and ultimately redemption.
'Vivid and powerful, BEATRICE is a novel told in gleaming moments, like a string of pearls brought one by one out of the dark. It has the compelling power of a detective story, following a trail of ghosts into the past'
'It totally grips the reader's attention quite literally to the very final paragraph . . . it marks the debut of a deeply mature and skilful voice . . . '
DERMOT BOLGER, THE SUNDAY INDEPENDENT