A timeless classic dealing with the complexity and hardships of relationships, addiction and faith.
Judith Hearne, a Catholic middle-aged spinster, moves into yet another bed-sit in Belfast. A socially isolated woman of modest means, she teaches piano to a handful of students to pass the day. Her only social activity is tea with the O'Neill family, who secretly dread her weekly visits.
Judith soon meets wealthy James Madden and fantasises about marrying this lively, debonair man. But Madden sees her in an entirely different light, as a potential investor in a business proposal. On realising that her feelings are not reciprocated, she turns to an old addiction - alcohol. Having confessed her problems to an indifferent priest, she soon loses her faith and binges further. She wonders what place there is for her in a world that so values family ties and faith, both of which she is without.
Brian Moore, whom Graham Greene called his `favourite living novelist', was born in Belfast in 1921 and was educated there at St Malachy's College. He served during the latter part of the Second World War in North Africa, Italy and France. After the war he worked for the United Nations in Europe before emigrating to Canada in 1948, where he became a journalist and adopted Canadian citizenship. He spent some time in New York before moving to California, where he lived up until his death in January 1999.