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  • Published: 1 October 2015
  • ISBN: 9781909531185
  • Imprint: Definitions
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $19.99

A Swift Pure Cry




This is an extraordinary story of one girl's courage in the face of prejudice and hardship within a small community in Ireland.

After Shell's mother dies, her obsessively religious father descends into alcoholic mourning and Shell is left to care for her younger brother and sister. Her only release from the harshness of everyday life comes from her budding spiritual friendship with a naive young priest, and most importantly, her developing relationship with childhood friend, Declan, charming, eloquent and persuasive. But when Declan suddenly leaves Ireland to seek his fortune in America, Shell finds herself pregnant and the centre of a scandal that rocks the small community in which she lives, with repercussions across the whole country. The lives of those immediately around her will never be the same again.

  • Published: 1 October 2015
  • ISBN: 9781909531185
  • Imprint: Definitions
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 320
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Siobhan Dowd

Siobhan Dowd lived in Oxford with her husband, Geoff, before tragically dying from cancer in August 2007, aged 47. She was both an extraordinary writer and an extraordinary person.

Siobhan's first novel, A Swift Pure Cry, won the Branford Boase Award and the Eilis Dillon Award and was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and Booktrust Teenage Prize.

Her second novel, The London Eye Mystery, won the 2007 NASEN & TES Special Educational Needs Children's Book Award. In March 2008, the book was shortlisted for the prestigious Children's Books Ireland Bisto Awards.

Siobhan's third novel, Bog Child, was the first book to be posthumously awarded the Carnegie Medal in 2008.

The award-winning novel A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness was based on an idea of Siobhan's. Her novella, The Ransom of Dond, was published in 2013, illustrated throughout by Pam Smy.

Also by Siobhan Dowd

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Praise for A Swift Pure Cry

Movingly written, this is a sad but not a dismal story, given Shell's resilient personality and the support she gets from a generous-hearted priest. This debut novel is a fine and memorable achievement: it never sells its characters short and always stays close to what was thought to have happened at the time

Independent

In a densely woven tapestry of poetic language, sensations, and childhood experience, Dowd's characters stumble through life, bewildered and bereaved, reviving feelings and emotions that are most usually pushed into the back recesses of the mind

Guardian

It's a beautifully written, lyrical story

PEN

This story is told with the innocence and naivety of a young girl and leaves the reader to feel the true emotion behind it. This story will have you hooked; you will go through the usual emotions a well-written book should stir up - laughter, sadness, anger, and compassion

Irish Post

A superb first novel, beautifully written, deeply moving and full of heartbreak. Siobhan Dowd writes without judgement but with enormous sympathy and understanding

Love Reading 4 Kids

A compelling story, well told . . . It is compulsive reading

Oxford Times

A very human account to make readers weep yet also rejoice at the support she gains from her younger brother and sister

The Bookseller

It heaves with memories of another lifetime, like a family album. This is, above all, an affectionate novel . . . it should be read by anyone who is or ever was a teenager

Irish Independent

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