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Synopsis

'One of the best novels to have come out of Ireland in a long time … it chronicles not just a personal and spiritual journey but the state of a nation over 40 years. Outstanding.' John Boland, Irish Independent. 'Leaving Ardglass gives us a stunning insight into Church politics, the highs and lows of serving God, and the confusions and contradictions that modern Ireland has foisted on all of us.' Joe Duffy, Mail on Sunday. 'A finely written and brave book that throws up uncomfortable truths and interesting parallels between hidden worlds driven by ambitious men determined to survive.' Dermot Bolger, Sunday Business Post. In 1961, MJ Galvin, an Irish building contractor in London, brings over his kid brother, Tom, to join the family business. Educated, sensitive and naive, and destined for the seminary, Tom witnesses a killing, learns about dead men and the start in Camden Town, experiences drunken brawls and the excitement of dancehall nights in the Galtymore. He faces a decision that will shape his future: will he join his successful brother and make a fortune, or follow an inner voice towards the priesthood? The inner voice prevails, Tom enrolls as a seminarian, goes to Rome, becomes a monsignor and is tipped for a bishopric, only to renounce power and prestige, and be relegated to a quiet country parish disillusioned by the betrayal of principles within his Church as a new century dawns. This powerful family saga evokes the tensions and transformations within a new Ireland as traditional values give way to consumerism and one man's odyssey becomes everyman's.

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