This Human Season

From The Christian Science Monitor:

Book_20 Literature is full of midlife crises, but few characters have as good a reason to indulge as Kathleen Moran. The mother of four has nothing but contempt for her alcoholic husband, who likes to boast about his imaginary exploits at the corner pub; her part-time job is drying up and money is tight; one of her children is in prison for killing a police officer; and there’s a giant hole in her living room ceiling where a soldier put his foot through it while searching her home. Said home is located in Belfast in 1979, and her son is a member of the Irish Republican Army.

This Human Season, Louise Dean’s second novel, is set during the run-up to the hunger strikes in the Maze prison that killed 10 strikers and were part of a worsening wave of terrorist violence during Northern Ireland’s 30-year “Troubles.” The bleak, grimly funny novel is the story of two 39-year-olds, Moran and one of the prison guards in her son Sean’s H-block, and gives new meaning to the phrase scatological humor.

More here.