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The Walking People


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A beautifully evocative novel spanning 1950s Ireland to modern day America, from the author of bestselling Ask Again, Yes

About the Author

MARY BETH KEANE attended Barnard College and the University of Virginia, where she received an MFA. In 2011, she was name one of the National Book Foundation's '5 Under 35', and in 2015 she was awarded a John S. Guggenheim fellowship for fiction writing. She currently lives in Pearl River, New York, with her husband and their two sons. She is the author of The Walking People, Fever and Ask Again, Yes - a New York Times bestseller, BBC Radio 2 Book Club pick, and winner of the Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show Summer Reads Book Club 2019.


A compelling drama of transatlantic Irish life
Marries a deliciously old-fashioned style of storytelling with a fresh take on the immigrant experience . . . A warm, involving family drama * Booklist *
An epic story about immigration, identity and family . . . Keane portrays the complex and, at times, challenging lives of these working-class women with tenderness and compassion * Guardian *
Atmospheric, moving and brilliantly well-written * Daily Mail *
This atmospheric read that spans from 1950s Ireland to modern-day America and follows the fortunes of a woman on the run from a family secret * Good Housekeeping *
Engrossing . . . Captures the windswept grittiness of Irish poverty as vividly as the technicolour hustle and bustle of 1960s New York. The Walking People is the kind of novel you simply don't want to end * Daily Express *
Keane's previous novel Ask Again, Yes, was on my best Books of 2019, and this is just as good. Its slow, melodic pace proves we don't always need fast action and twists. Set between Ireland and new York, it's about two sisters; one craves adventure, the other, family; both have secrets * Prima, 'Best Books of March' *
An American dream story, told over decades, taking its reader from rural 1915 Ireland to the streets of New York and back again -- Mariella Frostrup * Times Radio *
A moving and sweeping story that takes readers from the west coast of Ireland to America, following a family of immigrants across the different decades * Culturefly *
I was a big fan of Ask Again, Yes and this is every bit as good * Good Housekeeping *
An epic yarn . . . an evocative portrait of the immigrant, but also adds greater subtlety to this theme of belonging * RTE Guide *
Praise for Ask Again, Yes * - *
The new Little Fires Everywhere * Stylist *
One of the most exceptional novels of the summer . . .
Has the makings of a future classic. * Sunday Express *
A beautiful novel, bursting at the seams with empathy * Elle *
Absolutely brilliant, a must read for our time
I'll read everything she writes
Powerful and moving . . . Mary Beth Keane is a writer of extraordinary depth, feeling and wit. Readers will love this book, as I did -- Meg Wolitzer, author of The Female Persuasion
Immersive and deeply moving -- Anna Hope, author of Expectation
A pleasantly accessible novel that will be popular with book clubs . . . Keane is a nuanced observer * Sunday Times *

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