This collection of short stories depicts vivid tales of restless, searching people set in Dublin, London and New York.
In "Send My Roots Rain," Miss Gilhooley, a librarian, waits in the lobby of a posh Dublin hotel expecting to meet a celebrated poet while reflecting on the great love who disappointed her. The Irish workers of "The Shovel Kings" have pipe dreams of becoming millionaires in London, but long for their quickly changing homeland-exiles in both places. "Green Georgette" is a searing anatomy of class, through the eyes of a little girl; "Old Wounds" illuminates the importance of family and memory in old age. In language that is always bold and vital, Edna O'Brien pays tribute to the universal forces that rule our lives.
O'Brien is Irish by birth, although she has also lived in London, and her love affair with Ireland informs much of her writing in setting, plot, and characters. She is also known as one of the great writers of the 20th century female experience; relating women's lives with unflinching honesty and truth.