During the hot Irish summer of 1969, tensions rise in Belfast where Katherine, a former actress, and George, a firefighter, struggle to keep buried secrets from destroying their marriage. In this emotionally acute debut novel, Michèle Forbes immerses the reader in a colorful tapestry of life. Throughout the book’s carefully woven story the bonds of family are tested and forgiveness is made possible through two parents’ indomitable love for their children.
An exploration of memory, childhood, illicit love, and loss, Ghost Moth portrays ordinary experiences as portals to rich internal landscapes: a summer fair held by children in a back yard garden exposes the pangs and confusion of a first crush; an amateur theatre production of Bizet’s Carmen hires a lonely tailor who puts so much careful attention into the creation of a costume for his lover that it’s as if his desire for her can be seen sewn into the fabric. All the while, Northern Ireland moves to the brink of civil war. As Catholic Republicans and Protestant Loyalists clash during the “Troubles,” the lines between private anguish and public outrage disintegrate in this exceptional tale about a family—and a country—seeking freedom from ghosts of the past.