"With extraordinary devotion, Mary Costello brings to life a woman who would otherwise have faded into oblivion.”—J. M. Coetzee
Tess Lohan is the kind of woman we meet and fail to notice every day. A single mother. A nurse. A quiet woman, who nonetheless feels things acutely—a woman with tumultuous emotions and few people to share them with.
Academy Street is Mary Costello’s luminous portrait of a whole life. It follows Tess from her girlhood in western Ireland through her relocation to America and her life there, concluding with a moving reencounter with her Irish family after forty years of exile. The novel has a hypnotic pull and a steadily mounting emotional force: It speaks of disappointments but also of great joy, capturing, in sentence after sentence, the rhythm and intensity of inner life.