Mar 24, 2022

captivating new novel The Home Scar acquired by Penguin Sandycove

Kathleen MacMahon’s

Patricia Deevy, Deputy Publisher at Sandycove bought UK and Commonwealth (excluding Canada) rights from Marianne Gunn O’Connor of the Marianne Gunn O’Connor Film, TV and Literary Agency. It will be published in February 2023.

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The Home Scar is a contemporary story centred on the grown-up half-siblings of a beautiful but troubled Irish woman, a muse to their famous fathers, who died tragically when they were children. In an attempt to unlock the mystery of their mother’s life the two – Cassie, a sculptor living in Mexico City and Christo, a Cambridge mathematician – revisit the south Galway coast where they spent a last happy summer with her. But Cassie and Christo will discover that their rosy memories of that holiday are wrong in fundamental ways and have to rethink everything they thought they knew about the past. In doing so, they also have to accept some difficult truths about their present lives. This is a truly captivating story about the challenge and bravery of coming to terms with the past and of finally moving on.


The Home Scar is Kathleen MacMahon’s fourth novel and her second with Sandycove following the Women’s Prize longlisted Nothing But Blue Sky.


Kathleen’s first novel, This is How it Ends, published in 2012 was translated into more than twenty languages, spent five weeks at the top of the bestseller lists in Ireland, and was a Richard and Judy Book Club choice in the U.K. It was shortlisted for the Kerry Group Irish Book of the Year award, as well as in two categories at the Irish Book Awards. Her second novel, The Long, Hot Summer, was published to much acclaim in 2015 and was also a bestseller in Ireland.


A former radio and television journalist with Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTÉ, Kathleen lives in Dublin with her husband and twin daughters.


Patricia Deevy says: The Home Scar is an extraordinarily rich and involving story about the role of parental love (and neglect) in making us who we are. Kathleen’s exploration of how Cassie and Christo navigate their emotional legacies is so original, perceptive and moving, and her writing is so effortless, that the novel is utterly transporting and pleasurable. It’s a total joy to publish an author who is only going from strength to strength, and I’m thrilled and honoured that once again Kathleen has entrusted Penguin with her work.


Kathleen MacMahon says: This book is very close to my heart, both because of its west of Ireland setting and because of its subject matter –  the great and complex mystery that a mother’s life presents to her children. Patricia Deevy was the editor of my previous novel, Nothing But Blue Sky, and I’ve been lucky to have her with me on this novel too. I’m very much looking forward to working with all the wonderful team at Penguin Sandycove in bringing The Home Scar into the world next year.

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