This magical, unusual book transports you to a misty Ireland - a world of complex love and loss. The unexpected narrative twists the reader through the lives of two children as they grow up and cope with their difficult, loving, unusual families. Nicholas - a strange, silent, deeply sensitive boy - whose father abandons his job, and often his family to create wild paintings because 'god wants me to.'The other main character is Isabel, the Master's daughter, - and a seemingly separate strand of the book follows her sometimes wonderful yet harsh island life; her school life in an unsympathetic convent on the main land; her rebellion, and subsequent relationships. The book is haunted by absent characters - Nicholas's dead mother whose influence whirls and comforts her child; his father, the charismatic magical artist; but perhaps the most intriguing character is Isabel's brother, Sean, who watches the story unfold in his enigmatic silence. This book dances off the page, entrancing the reader in its gentle mysteries, music, and magic. A beautiful, complex, entrancing read with a voice all of its own yet containing echoes of Yeats and Heaney and a dash of Peter Carey.