Summer 1954. The South Connemara coast. Idyllic summer days. Then a tragedy. Valentine, a young lad from Dublin lies dead, splayed on a rock at the cross. There are three young witnesses: Sally, Wally and Deirdre.
Questions surrounding the tragic death and the identity of his friend preoccupy Wally both then and later, as he works his way through life in different European cities and landscapes.
To penetrate the silence that surrounded Valentine, the narrative swings back and forth through time and place, conjuring up scenes with the lightness of comedy amid images of more shadowed worlds.
Through all the disharmony, betrayal, war and natural catastrophe, emerge a few heroic figures, and a small gifted personality with a spell all his own. A survivor.
Gregory Raftery grew up in the West of Ireland and has lived and worked for many years in continental Europe. He is the author of the novel His Soul Was a Long Journey, published in 2010.