Ghost Moth


Product Details

$14.95  $13.90
Bellevue Literary Press
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.1 X 0.8 inches | 0.6 pounds

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About the Author

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Michèle Forbes is an award-winning theater, television, and film actress who has toured worldwide with The Great Hunger and Dancing at Lughnasa. She studied literature at Trinity College, Dublin and has worked as a literary reviewer for the Irish Times. Her short stories have received both the Bryan MacMahon and the Michael McLaverty Awards. She lives near Dalkey, Dublin with her husband and two children. Ghost Moth is her first novel.


Irish Book Awards Shortlist
Library Journal Best Indie Fiction of the Year
Publishers Weekly Best Summer Book Staff Pick
Concord Monitor/Concord Insider Book of the Week
Chatelaine magazine Book Club selection
Brooklyn Book Festival Best Debut Book

"A Belfast-born actress with experience in film, theater, and television, Forbes draws from her own professional and personal background to imbue her protagonist with authentic energy and humanity . . . deftly explor[ing] the private and public struggles of this particular Catholic family with vivid, poetic language. . . . By the end, the truth--the brutal and the beautiful--rises to the surface of this eloquent novel." --Boston Globe

"Evocative . . . Forbes' writing is lovely." --Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Forbes's exquisite writing keeps Ghost Moth fresh and moving. This is a terrific novel, and like everything I've read from Bellevue Literary Press, it's one that will stay with me." --Concord Monitor/Concord Insider

"Forbes' poetic language captures the soulfulness of Ireland while the story chronicles two very different points in Irish history. It's an engaging plot with a dramatic sense of time and place, peopled by exquisitely drawn, fatally flawed characters wrestling with love and all its complications." --Chatelaine magazine

"One might expect the debut novel of a talented actor like Forbes to be composed of action and dialogue. Ghost Moth, however, is told largely through simile and metaphor . . . The passages evoking Katherine's children are outstanding. The meditations on maternal and marital love verge on the profound. And the ending will bring a lump to your throat." --Guardian

"This beautifully written first novel is about the kind of love that can never be blotted out . . . a tender, heartbreaking story about choices made and secrets kept too long." --Times (London)

"Startling, gorgeous and memorable . . . Fans of family stories and historical fiction will enjoy this book immensely and the vivid, lyrical language will appeal to readers of literary fiction." --Sunday Independent

"Beautifully written . . . Confident and lyrical. Michèle Forbes is a name to watch." --Irish Examiner

"Forbes, who has already won major awards for her short stories, knows how to write--her prose is unfailingly elegant . . . [Ghost Moth] confirms its author as an exceptional talent." --Belfast Telegraph & Irish Independent

"Exceptional . . . Forbes is a master of creating high tension and drama. . . . Ghost Moth is a compelling novel with a sharp emotional lens." --Colorado Review

"Excellent . . . [Forbes'] writing is precisely observed, understated, elegant, and the characters live off the page." --Historical Novels Review

"Readers will revel in the skillful writing . . . complex plot . . . strong characterization . . . lyrical descriptions . . . Genre fans (Irish-history buffs, family-story readers, historical-fiction enthusiasts) will enjoy this novel, while its stylistic richness and narrative intricacy will also please readers of literary fiction. Highly recommended." --Booklist (starred review)

"Forbes debuts a gemlike novel. Rare and luminescent, her storytelling is deliberate in its unfolding. Readers will marvel at the subtle embroidering of folk stories such as the Selkie wife and Briar Rose into the Bedfords's narrative. Fans of Anne Enright's fiction will admire a similar brilliance in this work." --Library Journal

"Personal and political turmoil erupt in the life of Irish housewife Katherine Bedford during the summer of 1969 in Forbes's powerful debut novel. . . . Through her richly imagined characters, Forbes depicts a fully human and flawed relationship between two people with their own desires, memories, and secrets." --Publishers Weekly

"Lyrical and beautifully written . . . [A] riveting family drama--concerned with the secrets, lies and hidden torments between those one is closest to, and the heartbreak of lost love." --The Bookseller

"What makes Ghost Moth such a compelling read is the individual characters . . . As literary heroines go, Katherine is quite ordinary; nonetheless, Forbes paints a vast and colorful tapestry of a life that is anything but. Ghost Moth is more than just a story of a woman torn between two men; it is a novel that anyone who has ever experienced a crisis of faith can identify with." --Akashic Insider

"Though this is Forbes' first novel, Katherine is a sophisticatedly created heroine, perfect in her flaws, compelling in her lies, beautiful in her tragedy. . . . 'What does love feel like?' Katherine's oldest daughter, Maureen asks. 'Floating and burning, ' her mother replies. And like love, Forbes' prose floats with captured emotion and burns with its vivid imagery." --Late Night Library

"A powerful debut novel, one that brings to life 20th-century Ireland with lyrical precision, from the people to the landscape to the country itself." --Largehearted Boy

"This debut novel by Michele Forbes begins with a great, menacing scene in choppy ocean waters. I was thoroughly hooked by [the] opening lines." --Quivering Pen

"Ghost Moth is a beautifully deceptive book. It feels light, ethereal, gentle and precious. Yet it deals with such momentous issues as religious intolerance, infidelity, illness, death. . . . Revelations come not with a bang, but with a whisper, mirroring life as it truly is rather than the drama we try to pull from it." --LitStack

"Satisfying and fascinating . . . The psychological acuity and powerful prose Michèle Forbes exhibits in this first novel makes us hope for many future books from this talented writer." --A Trip to Ireland

"A fabulous story that meets its promise to 'show you the extraordinary in the ordinary.'" --Bookmunch

"Ghost Moth is an impressive debut by a writer who is not afraid to address the so-called ordinary lives of real human beings. We shall be hearing a great deal more from Michèle Forbes." --JOHN BANVILLE, Booker Prize-winning author of The Sea and Ancient Light

"A bountiful river of lovely images, fresh and perfect, a triumphant story both familiar and strange. A stellar debut." --SEBASTIAN BARRY, Booker Prize-nominated author of The Secret Scripture and On Canaan's Side

"Clever, unpredictable, beautifully written and crafted--Ghost Moth stayed with me for a long time after I'd finished reading the final, sad, wonderful page." --RODDY DOYLE, Booker Prize-winning author of Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha and The Commitments

"This slow burning tale is both guileless and deeply--sometimes erotically-- charged. The writing soaks up the world, and thrills to the beauty of it. Children, bees, milk, the sea, all are wonderfully rendered and alive on the page. Katherine Bedford--so ordinary and so passionate--is a heroine to treasure." --ANNE ENRIGHT, Booker Prize-winning author of The Gathering and The Forgotten Waltz

"A haunting story about love, yearning and loss that never fails to surprise or move the reader. This is a most impressive debut from a supremely talented writer." --CHRISTINE DWYER HICKEY, author of Last Train from Liguria and Tatty

"A commanding debut, packed with genuine characters, telling its story with powerful control. Ghost Moth is a beautiful book, by a wonderful writer." --FRANK McGUINNESS, twice Tony Award-nominated playwright of the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award-winning play Someone Who'll Watch Over Me