Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Hardback Published on: 18/01/2024
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Bookseller Reviews

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A terrific exploration of the mind of one, middle-aged woman who wakes up one morning and decides she simply cannot hack her life as it is, so she just wal... READ MORE
Katy Wheatley
A mesmerising journey.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure what too expect going into this. What I found was a surprisingly engaging journey through one woman’s mind. The characterisat... READ MORE
Unique, funny and incredibly thoughtful
I loved the premise of this - a mother leaves home one day as if to go to work, but instead just drives, and gets on a train, then ferry, gets a lift from ... READ MORE
Rebecca at Tunbridge Wells
I read it in a day; engulfed it, actually. It's a brutally honest account of a middle class woman breaking out of the shackles of her life, shattering tabo... READ MORE
Chris Bedford
Beautiful and hugely readable
I really enjoyed this book - the writing style was beautiful and hugely readable, and the premise brilliant. I think this debut will strike a chord with ma... READ MORE
Zach at Douglas
Moments of clarity
I love contemporary Irish fiction, and also thoroughly enjoy a character driven book with a slightly messy woman at its heart. One of those where outwardly... READ MORE
Beth at Chesterfield
Hauntingly relatable
I finished Breakdown and had an inner cheer - finally a recently published book with a woman of middle age as the main character. Hurrah! I cannot tell you... READ MORE
Emma Smith at Bedford
such an interesting concept for a book!
The premise of this book was fantastic, and I loved the blunt, unapologetic mindset of the protagonist. Full of candour, this is a fantastic read for bookg... READ MORE
Libby Low
A gripping tale of escape, range and breakdown.
In Cathy Sweeney's debut novel, a seemingly ordinary winter morning in Dublin becomes the catalyst for an extraordinary journey of self-discovery and recko... READ MORE


One winter morning on an ordinary day in contemporary Dublin, an ordinary middle-class woman wakes up in her ordinary suburban home. Her husband is next to her in bed, her teenage children sleeping nearby.

Without thinking much about it, she walks out the front door and never comes back.

She travels first by car, then train, then ferry. Along the way, she finds herself in service stations and shopping centres, hotel bars and hairdressers - and in the beds of strange men.

Finally, forty-eight hours later, alone in a cottage in Wales, the woman faces up to what she has been ignoring inside herself, her family, modern society: signs of breakdown.

From one of Ireland's most provocative and admired writers, this is a story of rage and reckoning, joy and transformation.

  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
  • ISBN: 9781474618519
  • Number of pages: 224
  • Weight: 340g
  • Dimensions: 218 x 142 x 24 mm

Customer Reviews

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Great Debut!
Thank you to the publishers for this early review copy. I really enjoyed this read and I could certainly see myself gifting copies to many friends. Loved... READ MORE
Fiona Sharp