A Swift Pure Cry

A Swift Pure Cry

3.73 (1,914 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Ireland 1984. After Shell's mother dies, her obsessively religious father descends into alcoholic mourning and Shell is left to care for her younger brother and sister. Her only release from the harshness of everyday life comes from her budding spiritual friendship with a naive young priest, and most importantly, her developing relationship with childhood friend, Declan, who is charming, eloquent, and persuasive. But when Declan suddenly leaves Ireland to seek his fortune in America, Shell finds herself pregnant and the center of a scandal that rocks the small community in which she lives, with repercussions across the whole country. The lives of those immediately around her will never be the same again. This is a story of love and loss, religious belief and spirituality--it will move the hearts of any who read it. From the Hardcover edition.show more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 509 pages
  • 132 x 198 x 20mm | 240.4g
  • Random House USA Inc
  • Random House Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0440422183
  • 9780440422181
  • 90,850

Review quote

IT IS NO small feat to write a story so heavy with foreboding and both deliver on the palpable sense of dread and concoct a hopeful yet realistic ending. Dowd achieves this in her beautifully realized account of one girl s loss of innocence, and her resilient recovery. Publishers Weekly, Starred Dowd s elegant, unsentimental prose and her instinctive grasp of the struggles of the human heart [lead] toward a hopeful ending. Don t let your kids keep this book to themselves. People Magazine Told through flowing eloquent prose, with strong Joycean influences, this engrossing and haunting tale will not let the reader go. Kirkus Reviews"show more

About Siobhan Dowd

Siobhan Dowd's novels include A Swift Pure Cry, for which she was named a Publishers Weekly Flying Start author, The London Eye Mystery, and Bog Child. She passed away in August of 2007 from breast cancer.show more

Rating details

1,914 ratings
3.73 out of 5 stars
5 24% (463)
4 38% (736)
3 27% (511)
2 8% (156)
1 3% (48)

Our customer reviews

After her mother died, fifteen-year-old Shell is left to take care of her younger brother and sister and her drunken father. They live in a small Irish village in a little farmhouse. Her mother's death has caused her father to drink even more than he did before, and in sudden religious zeal, he goes out daily to make his "collections." These donations are meant for the church, but he takes out more than his fair share before turning in the remains. Life is difficult. Shell is teased at school and skips out as much as possible. She attempts to look to the church for support, and a new young priest seems to offer a shoulder to lean on. Eventually, Shell seeks emotional release in a relationship with an older boy. They begin a secret relationship spent mostly hidden in the barley field where Declan takes advantage of Shell's need for tenderness. The inevitable happens - Shell becomes pregnant. Without her mother to confide in, Shell hides her condition, using a stolen library book to help her understand what is about to happen. Shell is an amazing young girl. She struggles to hold the family together and deal with her circumstances as best she can. As the story unfolds, readers will be surprised at the unpredictable turn of events for Shell, her father, the young priest, and all involved in the unfortunate tragedy. A SWIFT PURE CRY uses Irish dialect and lyrical prose to draw the reader into Shell's world. Her courage and faith shine clearly through this heartbreaking tale. *Gold Star Award Winner!show more
by TeensReadToo
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