The Dickinson household is saved from domestic chaos with the arrival of Ada Concannon, a "neat little Irish person, fresh off the boat". Amherst in the 1800's is a pastoral environment for the homesick young maid who finds in the gifted middle child, Emily, a fellow feeling; they were born on the same day, they share a sense of mischief and a love of baking. Emily's fledgling poetry and passion for words is her true vocation but as it begins to dominate her mind, she retreats from the small world around her and enters her infamous White Phase. The friendship that forms between the two women is tested when Ada's personal safety and reputation is violated and Emily finds herself tasked with defending her maid against her own family and those she loves, with shocking consequences.
Nuala O'Connor was born in Dublin in 1970 and lives in East Galway with her family. She is a well-regarded short story writer and novelist in her native Ireland. Please see her website for more details of her previous work www.nualanichonchuir.com. She has never been represented or published in the UK before. Nuala has won many fiction awards including RTE radio's Francis MacManus Award, the Cuirt New Writing Prize, the Jane Geske Award (USA), the inaugural Jonathan Swift Award and the Cecil Day Lewis Award. She was shortlisted for the European Prize for Literature. I am attaching some reviews of her past work.