Bookouture, published 23rd April 2020
For the Audio edition:
Listen to an extract here
The Island Girls: A heartbreaking historical novel
‘This book was so good. I didn’t want to put it down… the storyline sucked you into it and made you feel like you were really there.’ Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Vinalhaven Island. A disappearing place, in the wild Atlantic, of towering pines, lobster traps and two sisters torn apart by tragedy…
Harvard 1960. Nineteen-year-old Susannah says farewell to college life for the summer and returns to Vinalhaven Island, her remote rocky home off the coast of Maine. Her beloved sister Kate is marrying Matthew, a local fisherman, a man with a heart as cold as the Atlantic Ocean.
Years later, nurse Emer is sent to Vinalhaven to look after Susannah, who has lived in isolation since her sister’s tragic death. When Emer discovers a bundle of letters in a rainbow quilt in the bedroom, she and Susannah grow closer. Eventually, Susannah opens up enough to tell Emer the story of Kate’s brutal and secret past.
But when Emer starts asking locals about Kate, the island air sizzles with hostility. There are people who would rather that Susannah kept quiet, who have no qualms about threatening Emer. But despite the warnings to stay away, Emer is determined to find out what really happened the night Kate died – and the final secret that is keeping Susannah a prisoner to the past.
An unputdownable and unforgettable story of impossible choices and two sisters who would do anything for one another. Set on a bewitching sea-scented island, The Island Girls will burrow into your heart. Perfect for fans of Lisa Wingate, Anita Shreve and The Light Between Oceans.
What everyone’s saying about The Island Girls:
‘The Island Girls is a gorgeous, beautifully written, compelling story of love, loss and hope. I was completely absorbed in the stories of Emer and Susannah and their sisters when reading and somewhat bereft to leave them behind. This is a story which really touched me and I will remember the characters for a long time. If I tell you that I have added it to my Top Reads list for 2020, you will know how much I loved it. Please buy it, you won’t be disappointed!’ Portobello Book Blog, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘It is gripping, beautiful, moving and unforgettable. Readers, you are in for a TREAT!’ Sinead Moriarty
‘So much love for this book!! I adored the story of Emer and the prickly Susannah, as they both face up to extremely difficult pasts and find ways of moving forward.’ Books and Me, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Absolutely loved this… Highly recommended.’ Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘I found it extremely difficult to put the book to one side for any length of time. … Once I started to read that I was it, I completely immersed myself into the story and I found myself going through all kinds of different and contrasting emotions… This may be the first of Noelle’s books that I have had the pleasure of reading but it certainly won’t be the last… a beautiful and emotional story’ Ginger Book Geek
‘I loved this story. I was totally caught up in it from the start. This was a very emotional read. I was close to tears on several occasions. … This is a memorable read and I would recommend it.’ NetGalley Reviewer
‘Highly enjoyed this wonderful, warm and inviting read, good story line, excellent characters – makes a great book.’ Goodreads Reviewer
‘A compelling story about the love between sisters… hard to put down from beginning to end.’ Goodreads Reviewer
‘A thrilling and emotional ride… the suspense was riveting.’ The Secret Book Sleuth
‘This story was so good! I was caught up in it from the very beginning!… I read this book in two days because it was really good… such a great story. And I love Maine so the setting is great.’ Goodreads Reviewer
Black and White Publishing, 400 Pages
Published 24th May 2018
The Gravity of Love
Could Joy have been a different kind of girl, another woman, if her mother hadn’t given her up?
“From the arid desert of eighties Arizona to swinging sixties London, Noëlle Harrison connects her beautifully drawn characters and weaves them into a story that entangled, enchanted and entranced this reader.”
Liz Nugent, author of Lying in Wait
“So rich in love, loss, blame, misunderstanding, secrets and betrayals this book has everything.”
Sinéad Moriarty, author of The Good Mother
“From big sky Arizona to an Ireland of ‘corners and clouds’, Noëlle Harrison leads us on a hypnotic dance across the decades. A vivid, gripping tale of family secrets and lost love.”
Sandra Ireland, author of Beneath the Skin
Joy Sheldon loves the plants that bloom in the desert but dreams too of the sea’s elemental wildness. Now, riven by terrible secrets, Joy embarks on a journey to seek her identity and to discover why the sea pulls at her heart.
Lewis Bell, a young graphic designer, is aiming for the big time if only he can keep his creative spark. But, as his talented girlfriend Marnie adds her own pressures, sixties Soho fast shows its darker side.
Drawn together, Joy and Lewis fly across the Atlantic to the Irish coast. She’s in search of a lost mother; he’s looking for a lost love. They need to make peace with the past, themselves and others. But the truths they encounter will transform everyone’s lives forever.
Bold, intimate and joyful. This glorious novel tells an unforgettable story of love’s true gravity.
‘The Gravity of Love’ is, hand on heart, my most favourite book of 2018, and probably my most favourite book of all time. I wish I could bottle the feelings I revealed whilst reading this book, yet I don’t think anyone could ever afford the price of them. This book is such an incredible, life-affirming and heart-wrenching novel which made me feel, after 28 years of life on this planet, that I finally deserve to be here. I urge you all to get a copy of Noelle Harrison’s thought-provoking and ornamental read – you will NOT be disappointed.’ The Writing Garnet, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘A life-affirming read with wonderful characters and beautiful writing. It is a compelling and engaging story that grips you from the start.’ Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘A brilliant but emotional book which I couldn’t put down once I started. Will definitely be reading it again and thoroughly recommend’ Goodreads Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
‘Wow a wonderful read I highly recommend this book. Noelle Harrison is a truly wonderful writer! A beautifully crafted ,fascinating read’ Netgalley Reviewer, ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Aurora, 160 Pages
Signed First Edition of 200 in Hardback
£10 DISCOUNT AVAILABLE UNTIL 31st July 2020
The Secret Loves of Julia Caesar
“My Master ordered that I was neither to speak nor even look at the exile if I was approached, for it was the Emperor’s mandate that no man was to set eyes on this prisoner ever again.”
Abandoned on a desert island for her ‘crimes’, Julia Caesar, famed beauty, daughter of Emperor Augustus of Rome, has plenty of time to reflect on the events that have brought her here. Adultery, prostitution, forbidden love with her slave Phoebe.
Based on a true story this is an exploration of sexuality and desire, combining the myths and history of Ancient Rome with sensual and explicit imagery.
At its heart is one woman’s search for the nature of love, in all its glorious and terrible manifestations.
Pan Macmillan, 373 Pages
‘Let me tell you the story of an adulteress…’
Broken hearted and bruised by his wife’s infidelity, Nicholas leaves the comfortable life he has known in Dublin for a ramshackle house in rural Cavan, happy to throw himself into a project of restoration and diversion. There, the house seems to speak to him, and he catches glimpses of a presence – a fragile lady in blue, a woman trapped in the memory of one regret, her voice whispering to him.
June Fanning came to Cavan from England in 1941 with her Irish husband, the solid, but unimaginative Robert. She knows she should be happy, grateful for a release from her previous existence in wartime London but June is a stranger in a foreign land, an outsider. And then Robert leaves to fight in the war, leaving June all alone. Outside the house lies the orchard, trees ripe with blood red hearts, and on the other side of it is temptation…
Captivating, compelling and infused with Noëlle Harrison’s exquisite encapsulation of place and period THE ADULTERESS is a haunting novel of marriage, love and the secrets that live through the passage of time.
The Adulteress is an exquisite novel which fluidly makes the transition from contemporary to wartime Cavan.
The Ulster Tatler
Harrison gives her reader something more subtle to chew on in her thoughtful take on the vagaries of the human heart.
Pan Macmillan, 259 Pages
‘We are in an unearthly land, halfway between heaven and hell. Water and heat become a hazy sheen, hovering above the flat salt plains. We are two tiny figments floating in this seaside mirage, two outcast angels swallowed by the barren landscape and the heavy sky.’
Haunted by the memory of the tragic death of her little brother, eighteen-year-old Barbara leaves home in Ireland to begin a new life in London as an au pair to young Matilda Finch. Almost as soon as she arrives the Finches announce they are off to the Camargue in the South of France for the summer, taking Barbara with them. She quickly learns that she is one of a long string of au pairs and that the family has problems: Olivia the mother, is beautiful but brittle; her husband John is stiflingly affable and their daughter is constantly ill.
As the summer progresses, Barbara falls in love for the first time. Yet when she confides her doubts about the Finches, she realizes she has illuminated issues far beyond her own understanding, and that the consequences will be terrible….
Set in Ireland, London and the eerie salt marshes of the southern France, I Remember is remarkable story of deception, passion and ultimate redemption.
Pan Macmillan, 374 Pages
A Small Part of Me
Christina’s mother, Greta, walked out on her when she was just six years old. Now in her early thirties, Christina has reached a desperate crossroads and goes on the run with her youngest child in a bid to find her mother and sanctuary from her husband and family.
Her journey takes her across the Atlantic to America, and ultimately the west coast of Canada, where she meets Luke, a Native Canadian on a mission of his own. At times challenged and inspired by her alien new environment, Christina returns to memories of her childhood, growing up on the river in Meath, Ireland, and her relationship with her enigmatic stepmother, Angeline, who was once her mother’s best friend.
Against the backdrop of the open, wild and dramatic landscape of the Pacific coast, which contrasts so strongly with the enclosed spaces of her homeland, Christina begins to acknowledge the shameful reason behind her own failed motherhood and discovers a dark secret her family has never revealed.
The search of redemption and the simple heartbreaking love of a mother for her child imbues this novel with echoes you won’t forget
The Irish Independent
Harrison is an intriguing and sensual writer, confidently charting out her own distinctive territory.
Harrison’s ability to draw the reader in subtly and quietly is a great strength and her vivid descriptions of landscape, notably the skies and seas of Ireland and the Pacific, make the most passive scenes enjoyable.
The Sunday Tribune
It is a gripping tale revealed in the most vivid and colourful way that spans not just decades but oceans.
Harrison builds up multi dimensional characters, then peels away their pretensions to lay bear fears and longing.
Ireland on Sunday
Harrison’s writing shines with style and originality.
Pan Macmillan, 308 Pages
Eithne is the keeper of secrets in her family. When her sister Beatrice disappeared from her home in the dark woods of County Meath, it was thirteen year-old Eithne who uncovered the forlorn evidence of her life: a string of pearls, a pink beret, a compact and her beloved sketchbook. Their mother, Sarah, was so grief – stricken that she did not speak for five years, and their father, Joe, sank further into drink-filled rage.
Now an adult, Eithne is an artist, and tries to remember her sister in her sketches of the dark wooded bogs behind her house. For there was something else about Beatrice that was rarely spoken of in the household, a dark, guilty secret that her disappearance only made worse. And now, almost twenty years later, all could be revealed when a stranger appears….
Framed by Eithne’s journey to discover the truth about her sister, with the magic and beauty of art running through it, this is a richly compelling story of family secrets, passion and, ultimately, redemption.
Vivid and powerful, Beatrice is a novel told in gleaming moments, like a string of pearls brought one by one out of the dark. It has the compelling power of a detective story, following a trail of ghosts into the past.
It totally grips the reader’s attention quite literally to the very final paragraph….
Dermot Bolger, Independent on Sunday
Noelle Harrison deftly leads through the stories of these three women, their desires, and the men they love.
The Irish Times
A promising and enjoyable first novel
This is a haunting story of a family full of love, sadness and secrets, with beautifully -drawn characters, a lyrical style and scenery so clear you could almost touch it
I enjoyed every minute of this novel. My advice is: wait for a rainy day, take the phone off the hook, and dive in.
Dublin Evening Herald