Strange Flowers: A Novel (Paperback)
AN POST IRISH BOOK AWARD NOVEL OF THE YEAR
Longlisted for the Dublin Literary Awards
“Mr. Ryan writes conspicuously beautiful prose… The fleeting happiness and abiding melancholy of the asymmetry, heightened by the intimately rendered surroundings, brings out Mr. Ryan’s most sensuous and emotive writing.” –The Wall Street Journal
From the Booker nominated author of The Queen of Dirt Island, Donal Ryan's new novel follows the Gladney family across three generations seeking the true meaning of what it is to find home and love.
In 1973, twenty-year-old Moll Gladney takes a morning bus from her rural home in Ireland and disappears. Bewildered and distraught, Paddy and Kit must confront an unbearable prospect: that they will never see their daughter again.
Five years later, Moll returns from London. What - and who - she brings with her will change the course of her family's life forever. Beautiful and devastating, this exploration of loss, alienation and the redemptive power of love reaffirms Donal Ryan as one of the most talented and empathetic writers at work today.
About the Author
Donal Ryan, from Nenagh, Co. Tipperary,is the author of five number one-bestselling novels and a short story collection.He has won several awards for his fiction, including the European Union Prize for Literature,the Guardian First Book Award and four Irish Book Awards, and has been shortlisted for several more, including the Costa Book Awardand the Dublin International Literary Award. He was nominated for the Booker Prize in 2013 for his debut novel, The Spinning Heart, and again in 2018, for his fourth novel,From A Low and Quiet Sea. In 2021 he became the first Irish writer to be awarded the Jean Monnet Prize for European Literature. His work has been adapted for stage and screen and translated into over twenty languages. A law graduate and former civil servant, Donal has lectured in Creative Writing at the University of Limerick since 2014 and lives in Castletroy with his wife Anne Marie and their two children.
"The novel, as with all Ryan’s work, is tightly compressed, skillfully whittled down to the point where each word carries far more than its weight… Filled with tenderness, and written with the quiet lyricism that has put Ryan on the topmost branch of the flourishing tree of contemporary Irish fiction."
—The New York Times Book Review
"The working out of the sadness and secrets of this little family is beautifully done, poignant rather than depressing, and ending on a sweet note. As in his past work, Ryan's prose is a miracle of fluidity, of country talk flowing in and out of people's thoughts, capturing the rural Irish soul in its whole essence as brilliantly as any writer ever has."
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
"Ryan (From a Low and Quiet Sea) impresses with this gorgeous and meticulous multigenerational family saga…Fans of Sebastian Barry and Anne Enright will love this delicate and lush portrait." —Publishers Weekly
"A must-read." —Irish Central
"Here is love as a weapon and a balm. Love as faith, fate and redemption... a gorgeously wrought book - compassionate without dissolving into nostalgia."
"One of the greatest Irish novels of this century so far." —Sunday Independent
"Endlessly surprising and incredibly moving." —David Nicholls
"A big-hearted, beautiful work of art, full of truth and intensity." —Kit de Waal
"Donal Ryan is giving us characters - their angles and their language - that we haven't seen in Irish literature before." —Roddy Doyle