From The Guardian:
Inspired by real events in the life of JM Synge, Joseph O’Connor imagines the playwright in love: There is a part of the garden, by the cluster of sycamores, near the bend in the drive where the gravel is wearing thin. If he stands there, quietly, on a still Sunday morning, when none of the servants is around to annoy him, and when Mother is up in her room at her scriptures, he can hear the distant approach of the train from Dublin: the windborne shush-and-chug that means she might be coming to him again. He is thirty-six now, already very ill. Painful years have passed since he stopped believing he could be loved. The power of what is happening terrifies him.