Household Sounds

Michael Irwin

The Old Jest is set in a village on the Irish coast, not far from Dublin, in the summer of 1920. Nancy Gulliver, the heroine, an orphan just turned 18, lives in a fine old house with her Aunt Mary and a senile, hymn-singing grandfather. In this holiday between school and university she strikes up a relationship with a middle-aged Republican gunman hiding out in a hut on the shore. The action of the novel is concerned with this relationship and what it leads to.

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