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  • Published: 2 March 2021
  • ISBN: 9781405945691
  • Imprint: Michael Joseph
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • RRP: $19.99

The Walking People

The powerful and moving story from the New York Times bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes

A beautifully evocative novel spanning 1950s Ireland to modern day America, from the author ofbestselling Ask Again, Yes

Greta Cahill never believed she would leave her village in west Ireland, until she found herself on a ship bound for New York.

Despite her family's cynicism, Greta discovers that in America she can fall in love, earn a living, and build a life. She longs to return to show her family what she has made of herself, but at risk of revealing a secret about her past to her children, decides to keep her new life separate, torn from the people she is closest to.

Decades later, she discovers that her children, with the best of intentions, have conspired to unite the worlds she has kept apart. And though the Ireland of her memory may bear little resemblance to that of present day, she fears it is still possible to lose it all . . .

  • Published: 2 March 2021
  • ISBN: 9781405945691
  • Imprint: Michael Joseph
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • RRP: $19.99

Also by Mary Beth Keane

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Praise for The Walking People

Praise for Ask Again, Yes


Absolutely brilliant, a must read for our time

Lisa Taddeo, author of Three Women

One of the most exceptional novels of the summer . . . Has the makings of a future classic.

Sunday Express

A beautiful novel, bursting at the seams with empathy


I'll read everything she writes

Liane Moriarty

The new Little Fires Everywhere


A compelling drama of transatlantic Irish life

Billy Collins

Marries a deliciously old-fashioned style of storytelling with a fresh take on the immigrant experience . . . A warm, involving family drama


Powerful and moving . . . Mary Beth Keane is a writer of extraordinary depth, feeling and wit. Readers will love this book, as I did

Meg Wolitzer, author of <i>The Female Persuasion</i>

Immersive and deeply moving

Anna Hope, author of <i>Expectation</i>

A pleasantly accessible novel that will be popular with book clubs . . . Keane is a nuanced observer

Sunday Times

This atmospheric read that spans from 1950s Ireland to modern-day America and follows the fortunes of a woman on the run from a family secret

Good Housekeeping

An epic story about immigration, identity and family . . . Keane portrays the complex and, at times, challenging lives of these working-class women with tenderness and compassion


Keane's previous novel Ask Again, Yes, was on my best Books of 2019, and this is just as good. Its slow, melodic pace proves we don't always need fast action and twists. Set between Ireland and new York, it's about two sisters; one craves adventure, the other, family; both have secrets

Prima, 'Best Books of March'

Atmospheric, moving and brilliantly well-written

Daily Mail

An American dream story, told over decades, taking its reader from rural 1915 Ireland to the streets of New York and back again

Mariella Frostrup, Times Radio

A moving and sweeping story that takes readers from the west coast of Ireland to America, following a family of immigrants across the different decades


I was a big fan of Ask Again, Yes and this is every bit as good

Good Housekeeping

An epic yarn . . . an evocative portrait of the immigrant, but also adds greater subtlety to this theme of belonging

RTE Guide

Engrossing . . . Captures the windswept grittiness of Irish poverty as vividly as the technicolour hustle and bustle of 1960s New York. The Walking People is the kind of novel you simply don't want to end

Daily Express

The story becomes so engrossing it grows on you with its real and engaging characters ... the divide between urban USA and rural Ireland is brilliantly grasped ... a very moving and original love story

Irish Examiner

A beautifully crafted novel about love, loyalty, culture, family and identity

Irish Sunday Independent

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