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Since the publication of this her debut novel for adults, June Considine's name and the phrase "the next Maeve Binchy" have been mentioned in the same sentence on several occasions. Although one novel does not make an Irish literary sensation, Considine seems to be the most noteworthy contender for that much bandied about tag, if 'When The Bough Breaks' is a sign of things to come.
Already well-respected for her novels for children and young adults, Considine has now proven her talents as a writer of adult fiction and has done so with a distinctive style that does command comparisons to Binchy.
Here, she jumps from 1957 to 1999 - almost half a century that saw radical change in Irish society - and she does not shy away from issues that for so long were unmentionable, like child abuse, teenage pregnancy and political corruption. However, she manages to explore them without making a crusade of it, through creating a powerful and emotional saga filled with complex and flawed characters.
Eva Frawley's birth became a media event when she was abandoned at birth but it is not until events in her adult life change her perspective that she begins to investigate the events surrounding her birth. As Eva struggles to come to terms with her past, she becomes entangled in a reckless affair. At the very same time, Beth McKeever is also retracing the steps she took on the fateful night that Eva was born under the shadow of a remote headland. In doing so she must confront the man, influential and respected politican Tom Oliver, who dominated and corrupted her youth and that of her sister Sara. She has much to lose - Beth's journey into her past will change her life and that of her family and Eva Frawley forever.
'When The Bough Breaks' is a gripping novel that addresses love and hate, revenge and power, and most significantly of all, it is a story of lost innocence in an era when Irish children had no voice. Although this is the story of Eva Frawley, Beth McKeever and Sara Wallace, Considine's novel will resonate in the hearts and minds of many. It also marks her as a writer to watch.