Katherine O'Donnell Slant


Code 9781848408388
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In 1980s Boston, Ro McCarthy was in her twenties, Irish, undocumented, queer and falling in love for the first time. Then, one by one, her new, fun, beautiful friends began to die...

Ro McCarthy is content in her lack of worldly success. Single, in her fifties and working a quiet job, she is consoled by her love of books and her long and deep friendships. Although she still doesn't approve of marriage - not even for the straights - she is campaigning for marriage equality in the 2015 referendum. As she becomes addicted to knocking on doors, the ghosts of her youth will force her to confront a trauma and fury she had to bury a long time ago.

Thirty years earlier, Ro was a 22-year-old Cork woman living her best life in 1980s Boston. Escaping unemployment and homophobia at home and in the hope of 'becoming less of a langer' in America, Ro was undocumented and working multiple jobs, a voracious reader, forming life-long friendships and falling in love with Jenny. Meanwhile, the young men Ro befriended - from Ireland and elsewhere - were starting to die just as she was getting to know them. Her subsequent full immersion in AIDS activism - at the height of the crisis - and a community that was loving and living against the odds, became a sort of macabre heyday which Ro just about survived. In the long and sometimes baffling years that follow, her charged entanglement with Jenny will bear witness to the loss, betrayal, resistance and grief of an invisible generation of women as they do their best to make sense of the past and dare to hope for a better, different kind of future.

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