The Colours of the Dance by E. J. Pepper


In 19th century Ulster, a ten year-old girl becomes the mute and uncomprehending witness to personal and political events, and to a love affair that will culminate in murder.

Rule 1: When you’re dancing, shoulders back and point your toes.
Rule 2: Thumbs clear when you’re chopping vegetables.
Rule 3: Don’t go wandering through the house without permission.


But how to make any sense of Home Rule? Brede asks herself. 


Homeless and destitute, she and her Aunt Kate are employed as the only Catholics in the household of the beautiful, spendthrift Adelina Thompson and her bullying husband. But what is it that Brede sees that forces her to flee with her Aunt in terror?

Taken into the household of William Henderson, a Protestant supporter of Irish Home Rule, Brede’s unwitting actions will lead to the destruction of the person she loves most.


‘The way the child narrator views the world during one of the most troubled periods in Irish history is shared with us in an original and enthralling account.’


First Novel Award. 

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