It's the summer of 1981. Newly widowed Bessie Halstone is fleeing Belfast with her young son, Herkie.
She's wrongly suspected of pocketing GBP10,000, the loot from a heist carried out by Packie, her late (and unmourned) husband.
Bessie has plans. She longs to make a fresh start. But first she must reach the safety of her sisterâ€™s home, in County Sligo, to borrow money for the trip. She doesnâ€™t make it. Car trouble forces her to sojourn in Tailorstown, a sleepy rural community.
Her plans are put on hold as she decides to lay low for a while.
Sheâ€™ll need cash. She finds work as a housekeeper for the handsome but mysterious parish priest. In the meantime, Lorcan Strong, an artist and a native of Tailorstown, is summoned home.
With reluctance, he returns to the place where he feels almost a stranger, a town he has long outgrown. A chance meeting with young Herkie Halstone leads Lorcan into the world of the disenchanted Bessie â€” and into a grave danger that has pursued them both from Belfast. The Disenchanted Widow is an unforgettable peek into small-town life in Irelandâ€™s recent past.
Itâ€™s a glorious successor to McKennaâ€™s first â€œTailorstownâ€ novel, The Misremembered Man.