“Martin Toppy is the son of a famous Traveller and the father of my unborn child. He’s seventeen, I’m thirty-three. I was his teacher. I’d have killed myself by now if I was brave enough. I don’t think it would hurt the baby. His little heart would stop with mine. He wouldn’t feel himself leaving one world of darkness for another, his spirit untangling itself from me.”
Melody’s husband takes her news badly, and she finds herself alone and in trouble. She’s trying to stay in the moment, but the future is looming – larger by the day – while the past won’t let her go.
It’s a good thing she meets Mary when she does. Mary is a young Traveller woman, and knows more about Melody than she lets on. And she might just save Melody’s life.
“Unnoticeably beautiful.” – Anne Enright.
“The product of a life-enhancing talent.” – The Guardian.
“Among the great contemporary chroniclers.” – The Independent.
“Probes the possibility of human connection in the direst of circumstances.” – The Observer.
Donal Ryan is from Nenagh in County Tipperary. His first two novels, The Spinning Heart and The Thing About December, and his short story collection A Slanting of the Sun, have all been published to major acclaim. The Spinning Heart won the Guardian First Book Award, the EU Prize for Literature (Ireland), and Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards.
It begins with a painting won in a raffle: fifteen sunflowers, hung on the wall by a woman who believes that men and boys are capable of beautiful things.
And then there are two boys, Ellis and Michael, who couldn’t be closer.
And the boys become men.
And then they meet Annie.
And it changes nothing and everything.
“This is an astoundingly beautiful book. It drips with tenderness. It breaks your heart and warms it all at once.” – Matt Haig.
“Tin Man is Sarah Winman’s best novel yet. The playful subversiveness still bubbles away but there’s a new candour there, an acceptance of needs and flaws that proves deeply touching. This is storytelling as cruelly kind as fate itself.” – Patrick Gale.
“It’s exquisite. There are stories you just feel privileged to read. Sarah’s writing breaks you and heals you, all in the same moment, and I haven’t been so moved, and so in love with a book and its characters in a very long time.” – Joanna Cannon.
Sarah Winman is the author of bestsellers When God Was a Rabbit and A Year of Marvellous Ways. She was an actor for 30 years in theatre, television and film. Her family is from east Oxford, originally a working-class area, and where the novel is partly set. Tin Man is a term used to refer to the highly-skilled panel beaters who worked in the car factory with her grandfather back in Oxford.