The Irish Key

Daisy O’Shea

‘Take the key, my pet. I can’t ever go back. The last letter I had from Ireland was clear about that. But one day you may need a safe haven, and it’s the one thing I can give you. Ireland is in your blood, it will keep you safe.’

When Grace arrives tired, tearful and rain-soaked in Roone Bay, the little Irish village where her grandmother Caitlin grew up, she is overwhelmed with longing for Caitlin’s safe, warm arms. The crumbling wreck of Caitlin’s once-beautiful childhood cottage – whose key Grace was given on her wedding day as a secret refuge if she ever needed it – is not the fresh start she’d hoped for. But with her young daughter Olivia to look after and a painful past to hide from, Grace has to stay strong.

Plucking up the courage to ask for help from her kind new neighbours – including quietly rugged carpenter Sean Murphy – Grace gets to work making the house habitable. Soon the view of the deep emerald sea has her captivated, Olivia is blossoming, and Sean makes her laugh in a way she’d forgotten she could…

As she learns more about her family history, with Sean by her side, Grace’s curiosity unearths only further mystery. What drove Caitlin away from Ireland, never to return? But when Grace uncovers a long-lost letter to Caitlin that reveals the heartbreaking truth, she is suddenly threatened by her own devastating secrets.

Grace may have finally found a home for her little family. But when faced with everything she ran from, will the past tear her apart once more? Or will Grace find the strength to stand up for her daughter, her love for Sean, and her new life in Ireland?

This utterly heartbreaking, completely life-affirming story of a family secret that echoes down the generations is perfect for fans of Susanne O’Leary and Tricia O’Malley.