The Playground

Julia Kelly

Her partner has walked out on her. She's moved into a tiny flat on the outskirts of Dublin. She has no job. But she does have her beloved baby daughter - and there's a little playground across the street.

It's a tired spot for teenagers and tramps, but Eve is determined to make this new life work. Alongside her interfering lodger and a group of local mums she swings into action to make the playground the heart of the community.

But not all games are innocent - and not all friends are true. When a terrible accident is blamed on her, Eve must forge her own independence - and realise that the playground is not a place to hide from adulthood.


Dazzling ... It's a funny, sometimes heartbreaking insight into how a young mother struggles to cope ... Absolutely captivating', Irish Independent

Julia Kelly is surely the freshest voice in Irish fiction since the wonderful early novels of Edna O'Brien. This is a future to watch. John Banville

Searingly honest, uncomfortably so ... Anatomises the aftermath of a breakup and the ensuing struggles with scalpel-like prose ... emotional resonance and achingly human observations, Sunday Independent

A first-rate portrait ... Very funny (squirm-inducing early Mike Leigh - Abigail's Party, say - comes to mind) ... The anarchy of the everyday is what the novel conveys so well, so unhurriedly, so unostentatiously, with much sly wit ... Excellent, Irish Times

Eve is putting her life together again.

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