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A Crooked Tree

Una Mannion

This is the story of Libby and her siblings over one long hot summer, and how one decision can have terrible unintended consequences…

5 in stock

Date Published
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My mother made a snap decision.
How could we know it would change us forever?

‘Brimming with curiosity and wonder.’ Irish Times
‘Lushly atmospheric.’ Daily Mail
‘Thoroughly gripping.’ Lucy Caldwell
‘Brilliant.’ Sara Baume

Rage. That’s the feeling engulfing the car as Ellen’s mother swerves over to the hard-shoulder and orders her daughter out onto the roadside. Ignoring the protests of her other children, she accelerates away, leaving Ellen standing on the gravel verge in her school pinafore and knee socks as the light fades.

What would you do as you watch your little sister getting smaller in the rear view window? How far would you be willing to go to help her? The Gallagher children are going to find out. This moment is the beginning of a summer that will change everything.

Critic Reviews

It is a book full of knowledge . . . Mannion imparts Libby’s development in a series of subtle, suspenseful scenes that will leave the reader wanting more. An evocative and convincing coming-of-age story that is centred on the most important tree of all, the tree of life.

Irish Times
Critic Reviews

A lushly atmospheric coming-of-age novel in which Libby’s splintering family seems to stand as a metaphor for America itself.

Daily Mail
Critic Reviews

The menace in this moody, meticulously plotted debut lies not in preposterous plot twists, but within the mysteries of dysfunctional families, close-knit neighborhoods harboring dark secrets and adolescents’ imperfect, and sometimes disastrous, understanding of the world of adults . . . Before the story is over, everyone will have some growing up to do.

New York Times
Critic Reviews

Rich and exciting . . . a tremendous debut by a writer who is unafraid to defy genre expectations.

Sunday Business Post
Critic Reviews

A painful, touching exploration of a teenager's attempt to make sense of the world and its cruelties.

Literary Review
Critic Reviews

Packed full of small-town American ambiance, this is a tender tale of a young girl trying to do her best, written with such heart.


Una Mannion was born in Philadelphia and lives in County Sligo Ireland. She has won numerous prizes for her work including the Hennessy Emerging Poetry Award and the Doolin, Cúirt, Allingham and Ambit short story prizes. Her work has been published in The Irish Times, The Lonely Crowd, Crannóg and Bare Fiction. She edits The Cormorant, a broadsheet of prose…

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