After Shell's mother dies, her obsessively religious father descends into alcoholic mourning and Shell is left to care for her younger brother and sister. Her only release from the harshness of everyday life comes from her budding spiritual friendship with a naive young priest, and most importantly, her developing relationship with childhood friend, Declan, who is charming, eloquent, and persuasive. But when Declan suddenly leaves Ireland to seek his fortune in America, Shell finds herself pregnant and the center of a scandal that rocks the small community in which she lives, with repercussions across the whole country. The lives of those immediately around her will never be the same again.
This is a story of love and loss, religious belief and spirituality—it will move the hearts of any who read it.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: A Swift Pure Cry|
|Release Date: 09-09-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Random House Children's Books|
This eBook download is available in the following formats:
|Parent title||A Swift Pure Cry|
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A Swift Pure Cry
The place brought to mind a sinking ship. Wood creaked on the floor, across the pews, up in the gallery. Around the walls, a fierce March wind chased itself.
The congregation launched into the Our Father as if every last soul was going down. Heaven. Bread. Trespass. Temptation. The words whisked passed Shell’s ears like rabbits vanishing into their holes. She tried wriggling her nose to make it slimmer. Evil. Mrs McGrath’s hat lurched in front of her, its feather looking drunk: three-to-one odds it would fall off. Declan Ronan, today’s altar boy, was examining the tabernacle, licking his lips with half-shut eyes. Whatever he was thinking, it wasn’t holy.
Trix and Jimmy sat on either side of her, swinging their legs in their falling-down socks. They were in a competition to see who could go higher and faster.
‘Whisht,’ Shell hissed, poking Jimmy in the ribs.
‘Whisht yourself,’ said Jimmy aloud.
Thankfully, Dad didn’t hear. By now he was up at the microphone, reading the lesson like a demented prophet. His sideburns gleamed grey. The lines on his massive forehead rose and fell. This past year, he’d gone religion-mad. He’d become worshipper extraordinaire, handing out the hymn books, going round with the collection boxes every offertory. Most days he went into nearby Castlerock and walked the streets, collecting for the Church’s causes. On Sunday mornings, she’d often glimpse him practising the reading in his bedroom. He’d sit upright in front of the three panelled mirrors of Mam’s old dressing table, spitting out the words like bad grapes.