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Gretta Mulrooney
Marble Heart

Marble Heart
Gretta Mulrooney

A stunning piece of psychological suspense from the author of Araby.Two very different women brought together by a secret from the past.Joan has a tentative grip on the world – she’s too trusting, soft-centred, cheery and straightforward, the sort of woman who still keeps teddy bears on her bed. By nature and by profession, Joan is a carer, employed to look after Nina Rawle, a crisp and sophisticated woman, stricken by a long-term illness. There is a very good reason why Joan has been taken on by Nina (nursing skills aside) and Nina’s tangled past in Northern Ireland, in which a single and fatal act of political passion played a destructive role, has a great deal to do with it. How and why Nina will reveal herself to Joan, whose part in Nina’s past is truly significant, makes for a tense and twisting tale.This is a quite different novel from Araby. We have here a pure piece of storytelling, a psychological tale with more than a touch of Barbara Vine. The fantastic storytelling skills and exploration of character which made Araby such a gem are in abundance in this new novel.

Copyright (#ulink_c657695e-64fd-50b5-9e5a-97cd7b1353fc)


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First published in Great Britain by

Flamingo 2000

Copyright © Gretta Mulrooney 2000

Gretta Mulrooney asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work

This novel is entirely a work of fiction. The names, characters and incidents portrayed in it are the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or localities is entirely coincidental.

Source ISBN 0 00 655182 3

Ebook Edition © March 2016 ISBN: 9780007485376

Version: 2016-03-16

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Praise (#ulink_81de6761-adcd-55cb-a4ca-1ed1110f21a4)

From the reviews of Araby:

‘An amusing, totally unsentimental slice of life and a chilling meditation on mortality. Never angst-ridden or moralistic (a mixture of black comedy and over-the-top farce). I really enjoyed this truthful and affecting novel.’

Books Ireland

‘On hearing of Kitty’s admittance to hospital, her grown-up son Rory returns to Ireland to comfort his father and await the diagnosis. Rory’s narrative is interspersed with a series of flashbacks through which Kitty emerges larger than life. These snapshots of the past are part of a process of unpicking the odd tangle of love and petty grievances that characterise familial relationships. Mulrooney’s ability to make sense of the contradictions in clear, precise prose is the most remarkable achievement of the novel. A beautifully observed study of reconciliation, Araby makes astute points about conflict and shifting values between generations.’

The Times

‘Mulrooney has a real gift for dialogue, the words and phrases ring true and make her characters wonderfully real. A tenderly funny and genuinely moving piece. I loved it.’

Time Out

‘What is admirable about Mulrooney’s writing is the way she manages to keep the tone buoyant, while alluding to many heartbreaking strands of family history. For both Kitty and Rory, this is a story of gallant survival.’


‘I loved it. Such a sweet story without being in the least bit sentimental, and very moving without being harrowing. There are moments when the reader is absolutely there, so acute is this novelist’s eye and ear.’


‘A wonderfully funny view of Irish motherhood, but Mulrooney also evokes powerful emotions as Rory comes to appreciate quite how much his infuriating but irreplaceable mother means to him. Highly recommended.’

Literary Review

Dedication (#ulink_bcd87de0-e4d9-54c0-9f15-5b2e01499638)



Cover (#u821ddb3e-a8c9-5260-b92e-94ab027d4d7d)

Title Page (#ud3b1578d-8d00-5f3e-b2ae-9c956ab923d1)

Copyright (#ulink_8dcab441-4b5d-513f-a008-dededa125dd9)

Praise (#ulink_525cce9e-53ee-51ea-824f-2514ab172ed6)

Dedication (#ulink_91a7742c-e18b-5cbd-9bda-46431cf00d88)

1. Joan (#ulink_21386d6b-bd01-56a6-812c-94a099ff41f7)

2. Joan (#ulink_258b913e-a7fc-516d-ba4a-c7063cdd51a5)

3. Nina (#ulink_8226a1ca-9b8d-5833-b19c-af92a0195517)

4. Nina (#ulink_8e18a8d3-7059-527d-b2da-48f9aec0625c)
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