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Small Things Like These

Claire Keegan
2021, 116 p.

It is December 1985 in a small town in Ireland. Bill Furlong, a coal merchant and family man, is facing the busiest season of the year. Married to Eileen and having five daughters, he often struggles to make ends meet. But he is hopeful about the future of his daughters, who go to the town’s only good school for girls, which is run by an order of nuns. One morning, when delivering an order at the convent, he discovers a girl in the coal shed who asks him for help. This prompts Bill to start thinking about his own life, the lives of his daughters and the life of the girl in the coal shed. Then he takes his final steps. A beautifully written book about one man’s thoughts, explained in a philosophical way and examining how we can take responsibility even if we have to go against the prevailing rules.


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