Mary Rieke Murphy
About the book…
Centring on a young American woman's experiences of settling 1970s Ireland, Mary Rieke Murphy’s Just Outside is an understated yet wittily perceptive exploration of the difference between the two culture and the nature of ‘otherness’. The book’s episodic narrative allows Murphy to subtly probe beneath the surface of everyday events.
The simplicities of the stories , a funeral, a job interview, the preparations for Christmas , are counterbalanced with a slowly unfolding and deepening emotional complexity, representing a gradual shift from being an observer to being a participant. One of the most remarkable aspects of these tales is the empathy that the author displays with her characters. Clear-eyed, unsentimental yet compassionate, she handles her material with a deft touch, eschewing the easy strategies of melodrama and caricature. Here are real people experiencing real things.
Just Outside is an engaging and captivating debut.