Jun 21, 2022
‘bang-on, and seriously funny’
Factory Girls is published today
Smart-mouthed and filthy-minded, Maeve Murray has always felt like an outsider in the shitty wee town in Northern Ireland that she calls home. She hopes her exam results will be her ticket to a new life in London; a life where no one knows her business, or cares about her dead sister. But first she's got to survive a tit-for-tat paramilitary campaign as brutal as her relationship with her mam, iron 800 shirts a day to keep her summer job in the local factory, and dodge the attentions of Handy Andy Strawbridge, her dubious English boss.
Maeve and her two best friends try to squeeze as much fun as possible into their last summer at home. But as marching season raises tensions among the Catholic and Protestant workforce, Maeve realises something is going on behind the scenes at the factory, forcing her to make a choice that will impact her life - and the lives of others - for ever.
Praise for Factory Girls
“Full of the stuff that we're starting to expect of Michelle Gallen; wild, hilariously angry characters, and language that is vital, bang-on, and seriously funny”
“A wee novel with an enormous, furious heart . . . Honest, hilarious and such a recognisable portrait of 90s Northern Ireland, Factory Girls is an essential read”
“Majella O'Neill was no flash-in-the-pan - Factory Girls is a powerful second novel. It has all of Gallen's flair for character, her ear for dialogue and her unparalleled sense of comic timing. And this novel cuts deeper, throbs with pent-up fury, a palpable sense of real and urgent despair. Viciously funny”
“Brilliantly observed and full of heart, Factory Girls will be up there on my list of best books for this year”
“A gorgeous, gritty and hilarious love letter to working class Northern Ireland in the 1990s. Gallen's protagonist, Maeve Murray . . . is a compelling creation who crackles brilliantly from the first pages”
“A riot of a read. A masterclass in voice, the North and the 90s”
“One of the most moving and hilarious novels I have ever read . . . Factory Girls is one of the best books ever written about the Troubles, and one of the best books I've read in a very long time”
“Provocative in more ways than one!”
“A much-awaited second triumph of dark humour - fabulous, dirty dancing words, that lift the soul. Gallen knows how to move us and make us roar at the same time. Jumping out with hysteria, Maeve is the hilarious queen of truth we all want to be”
“Some writers make you think; some writers make you laugh till you cry. Michelle Gallen belongs to that rare, rare group of writers who make you think even as the tears are tripping you. Factory Girls is a seriously funny novel - that manages at the same time to be deadly serious - about work, about friendship, about Northern Ireland in the months leading up to the 1994 ceasefire, and about being a teenager, any time, anywhere”