It is the 1970’s in a small town in Northern Ireland near Belfast. The main character, Cushla Lavery is a teacher in the town’s Catholic school. She also helps out at her family’s pub and has just begun an affair with Michael Agnew, a married man who is a barrister. Cushla lives with her alcoholic mother. She helps the McGeown family who has seen more than their share of misery since “The Troubles” began.
Louise Kennedy’s first novel is great. The characters, especially Cushla and Michael, are realistic and complex. I fell in love with Davey McGeown, the youngest of the unlucky Mcgeowns, who is a student in Cushla’s class. Trespasses rendering of what it’s like to live in Northern Ireland during “The Troubles” is true to life and unnerving.