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Ithaca, Hardback Book

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SHORTLISTED FOR THE BORD GAIS ENERGY IRISH BOOK AWARDS 2017LONGLISTED FOR THE 2017 DESMOND ELLIOTT PRIZEIthaca, the ferociously funny and unbelievably poignant debut novel from Alan McMonagle, combines a fiercely emotional story with crackling prose. This was the summer after all the money disappeared.

One minute it was here. The next it had vanished. All of it. Without trace . . . Now that all the money had vanished everyone had their eyes and ears ready for all manner of doom. Summer 2009, and eleven-year-old Jason Lowry is preoccupied with thoughts of the Da he has never known.

In the meantime, his vodka-swilling, swings-from-the-hip Ma is busy entertaining her latest boyfriend and indulging her fondness for joyriding. Jason escapes to the Swamp: a mysteriously rising pool of fetid water on the outskirts of the town.

There, he meets the girl, a being as lost as himself, and with even less regard for reality.

Together, they conjure exotic adventures - from ancient Egypt to the search for Ithaca, home of Odysseus.

But what begin as innocent flights of fancy soon become forays into hazardous territory; the girl is a dangerous (and very committed) partner in crime.

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