Review for Mo Cuishle

Review of Mo Cuishle Janet Lee Chapman has produced a breathtaking supernatural thriller in her novel Mo Cuishle. This captivating and heart breaking book flits between modern Ireland and that of 1847, which was called by the Irish, ‘Black 47’ as it was the worst year of the horrific famine that assailed Ireland from 1845-52. The plot centres around a family who move to Ireland from Boston to live in an old run down Workhouse which is haunted by the ghosts of people who died there during the famine. The young daughter of the family Bridget has a gift for seeing spirits; one night she encounters the spirit of a girl and so begins the mystery at the core of this terrific novel. What secret is the spirit of this girl trying to tell us and what really happened in the workhouse during those dark, dark days? These are questions that I’ll leave the reader to discover for themselves and discover they will as they are tantalised by this riveting tale. Jane Lee Chapman is a talented writer who has woven a spellbinding thriller between modern Ireland and one of the most tortured periods in its history. With beautifully drawn characters, the plot skips along at a relentless pace that will grip readers from beginning to end. I think what makes this novel so good is the credibility of the characters: they are people who could be your neighbours, family, friends; they are not strangers. This sincerity will endear itself to readers and leave them crying out for the sequel. Brendan Gill, author of The Fall of El Pantera