book cover of Trouble the Living
Added by 2 members

Trouble the Living

A novel by

From Northern Ireland to Southern California and back—a mother and daughter confront the violence of the past in an enthralling novel about the possibility of love and redemption during the most transforming and unsettled times.

It’s the final years of the Troubles in Northern Ireland, and Bríd and her sister, Ina, try to maintain a stable life in a divided country. Pushed by her mother’s fanaticism and a family tragedy, Bríd joins the IRA and makes a devastating choice. Frightened and guilt ridden, she flees, leaving behind Ireland and her family for America.

Years later, her guilt and tragic history still buried, Bríd is an overprotective mother raising her sensitive daughter, Bernie, in Southern California. Growing up amid a different kind of social unrest, Bernie’s need for independence and her exploration of her sexuality drive a wedge into their already-fragile relationship. When mother and daughter are forced to return to Northern Ireland, they both must confront the past, the present, and the women they’ve become.

As they navigate their troubled legacies, mother and daughter untangle the threads of love, violence, and secrets that formed them—and that will stubbornly, beautifully, bind them forever.

Genre: Literary Fiction

Praise for this book

"Commanding and provocative, Trouble the Living is a hauntingly beautiful exaltation and cross-examination of family. Francesca Capossela's sharp observations are as tremendous as her sure-handed guidance across time, violence, and oceans. Each page proves rich with generosity and sticky with resonance as Capossela expertly weaves together the competing textures of identity. Trouble the Living is a masterful debut from a singular new voice." - Beck Dorey-Stein

"Trouble the Living is an exquisite meditation on violence'a contradiction that kept me riveted from start to finish. On every page, the intimate and the political are enmeshed and inextricable, brought to life by the novel's mothers and daughters who love and damage one another in equal measure. Francesca McDonnell Capossela's debut is an absolute stunner." - Lauren Fox

"In Trouble the Living, Francesca Capossela has gorgeously braided the stories of two remarkable women, Brid Kane and Bernie Evans. A debut that will sweep you away and also make you rethink the boundaries between love and revenge, mothers and daughters, the old country and the promised land." - Elizabeth Gaffney

"Francesca Capossela writes with outsider/insider clarity, following the trajectory of a brutal sectarian crime from Northern Ireland to the US and back with all its guilt and shame. A debut novel full of intrigue and heart." - Hugo Hamilton

"Francesca Capossela is a startling new talent, elegant, erudite, humane, and with a true novelist's sense of form and proportion. Her debut straddles continents and generations with seemingly effortless lyricism and verve. Her exacting insight into the emotional dynamics of family is astonishing." - Jonathan Lethem

"With soaring beauty and mighty undertows of pain and intimacy, Francesca Capossela's Trouble the Living is a coming of age story that burns from within and announces the arrival of a great writer. I inhaled it." - Lauren Mechling

"Trouble the Living is an honest portrait of mothers and daughters that spans generations and cultures, illuminating the cracks formed when lies and deception define relationships. With exquisite writing that transports the reader through time and place, Capossela explores with heart and keen insight the lengths we will go to for the ones we love and ultimately what we are willing to sacrifice to protect our own hearts." - Melissa Payne

"Trouble the Living is a beautiful, perceptive, heartfelt novel about family: how it shapes us, how we need it, how we struggle against it. Every page contains half a dozen perfectly captured nuances - of mood, of emotion, of weather, of politics. This is a debut by a novelist of startling gifts; Francesca Capossela's scenes come powerfully to life on the page, and she has the true writer's sense of character and place. A hugely impressive and enjoyable book." - Kevin Power

"A brilliant novel that navigates pain as gracefully as it does love, Trouble the Living will cast an unbreakable spell on you from its very first page. Francesca Capossela has written here a family saga so powerfully imagined, you'll find yourself caught, like its heroines, between two generations; between Ireland and LA, between duty and desire - all while grappling with what it really means to be a mother, a sister, a daughter." - Mina Seçkin

Visitors also looked at these books

Used availability for Francesca McDonnell Capossela's Trouble the Living

About Fantastic Fiction       Information for Authors