And she shook her head to block out the noise. Outside, the bell was ringing and the footsteps of more than a hundred children clattered into place by the front door but Pius could hear none of it. The sound in her head was the sound of water, the sound of a stream rushing about her ears and the touch of a finger moving slowly down her body as a soft voice whispered, Slut.
When Eleanor Morrissey leaves Kildoran on a dark September night in 1930, nobody is sorry to see her go and nobody expects to see her return. As far as the villagers are concerned, the Morrisseys have been shamed out of town forever. Fifty years later, some visitors attend the funeral of the convent’s Mother Superior. When the funeral is over, one woman stays behind. Until she is free to leave again, she must struggle to understand her legacy – a legacy of voices. Threatening, angry, accusing voices that only she can hear, because they are soft voices. Whispering.
“One click of the shutters and all the memories stir and rise and glide slowly towards the light outside…and when the shutters close and they are packed safely, he’d stuff them in his satchel… oblivious to how much his passion for capturing memories was going to cost. And who’d have to pay the price.”
When stranger Jim Nealon walks into Lizzie Flynn’s shop and proposes that she help him make his beautiful jigsaws, Lizzie agrees. It’s a project she can fit into her humdrum life without making too many changes. She’s about to turn fifty – she could do with the distraction.
Then Jim shows her the photos he intends to use. Now the settled picture that was lizzie’s life is in the air. Falling in a thousand different pieces. As she scrambles to put her life back together again, Lizzie is startles to realize that it can’t be done. It was never a whole picture anyway. Too many of the pieces didn’t fit. And one piece is missing…
‘Monica Moran was not the woman she used to be. Or rather she was not just the woman she used to be. She was at least one other woman as well and their combined weight sat heavily on her overburdened bones. Where her breasts had been generous twenty years ago, they were now magnanimous, munificent… she leaned forward to negotiate the bottom step and Bernadette couldn’t help clucking in disapproval. The woman was a disgrace. If that cleavage was any closer to the ground you could stand a bicycle in it…’
Twenty years ago, when Father Barry ruled the Tullabeg roost, Bernadette Teegan and Monica Moran vied for his attention. Life was a maelstrom of mixed emotions and misplaced extremities – two young girls with plenty to learn. Then Monica went away and life settled down.
Now Monica is back.
And Bernadette has no intention of making it a happy visit. She has plans – to snare the most eligible bachelor in town, Cormac Hegarty, Estate Agent, and keep nephew Michael’s soul (and overalls) spotless.
But Monica has plans too.
A comedy of errors, misdirection and cross-wired agendas, TOPPLING MISS APRIL is a triumph of flesh over fantasy, where menopause is just a pause between men and experience counts for everything.