“What I really wanted to say just then, was that being dead doesn’t scare me, in fact I give it very little thought. Dying does. Those few moments. They terrify me. The in-between.”
Sinéad Hynes, the protagonist of Elaine Feeney’s powerful debut novel, is a Galway woman in her 40s recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. Holed up in bed on a public hospital ward, she needs assistance to eat, to shower, to go to the toilet. Still processing her diagnosis, Sinéad refuses to tell her husband Alex the truth, claiming instead some nebulous illness that means he can’t bring her young sons to visit.