A cut above


The barber-shop group, The Sea Sharps, stole the show at a party to toast June Considine's book. The room in the Dublin Writers' Centre swayed to the beat of the black-shirted singers, who included Seán Considine, the writer's husband.

When the Bough Breaks is "a genuine saga of Irish life in the latter part of the 20th century", said writer Rose Doyle, who led the celebrations.

"It's about secrets coming around and being uncovered in the passing of time," explained Considine. Her daughter, Ciara Considine, edited the book, which is published by New Island Books. After writing 12 childrens' books, Considine turned to adult fiction - this is her first novel for grown-ups.

Then the line snaked around the room as fellow writers and friends queued to get their book autographed - including Margaret Dolan, Barbara McDonnell, Sheila O'Reilly, Kathleen Sheehan-O'Connor, Philip Casey, and children's author Tony Hickey, whose latest book is The American Witch.