Owl Song at Dawn

by Emma Claire Sweeney Read profile


Perfect for fans of Karen Joy Fowler, Nathan Filer and Maggie O'Farrell

Maeve Maloney is a force to be reckoned with. Despite nearing eighty, she keeps Sea View Lodge just as her parents did during Morecambe’s 1950s heyday. But now only her employees and regular guests recognise the tenderness and heartbreak hidden beneath her spikiness.

Until, that is, Vincent shows up. Vincent is the last person Maeve wants to see. He is the only man alive to have known her twin sister, Edie. The nightingale to Maeve’s crow, the dawn to Maeve’s dusk, Edie would have set her sights on the stage – all things being equal. But, from birth, things never were. 

If only Maeve could confront the secret past she shares with Vincent, she might finally see what it means to love and be loved – a lesson that her exuberant yet inexplicable twin may have been trying to teach her all along.

‘Tender and unflinching, a beautifully observed novel about familial love and stoicism in the face of heartbreak.’  CARYS BRAY, Costa Prize-shortlisted Author of A Song for Issy Bradley


‘I found the novel most poignant and tender in its depiction of disability, without a whiff of sentimentality… it crept under my skin and will stay there for a long time.’ EMMA HENDERSON, Orange Prize-shortlisted Author of Grace Williams Says It Loud


‘An extraordinary tale of kindness, empathy, love, and secrets… I read it in one sitting!’

ELIZABETH L. SILVER, Author of The Execution of Noa P. Singleton


‘Amazing: fierce, intelligent, compassionate and deeply moving… an important and very beautiful book.’  EDWARD HOGAN, Desmond Elliot Prize-winning Author of Blackmoor


‘Funny, heartbreaking and truly remarkable… the most deeply moving novel I have read in a long time.’ SUSAN BARKER, New York Times Bestselling Author of The Incarnations


‘The writing is suffused from first to last with human warmth, empathic understanding… an important book – for our lives and consciences.’ STEVIE DAVIES, Booker and Orange Prize-nominated Author of The Element of Water


‘Remarkable… the story and the powerful nature of its telling raise it… to a place where its readers will find many ways into a world that might otherwise be closed to them…  a huge achievement.’  WILLIAM HORWOOD, Author of Skallagrigg


‘Unmissable. A beautiful, brave and important novel, which joyfully subverts the prejudices and assumptions of our youth-obsessed, disability-phobic society… Fabulously readable and thought-provoking.’  SARAH BUTLER, Author of Ten Things I’ve Learnt About Love


‘A delight: beautifully observed, deeply felt, and utterly compelling. Sweeney writes with great humour, with wisdom, and with devastating empathy.’  MARY VOLMER, Author of Reliance, Illinois


‘Fresh, poignant and unlike anything else. Written with a deceptively light touch, this is a novel full of charm.’ JILL DAWSON, Whitbread and Orange Prize-shortlisted Author of Fred & Edie


‘An ambitious and emotional debut worthy of comparison with The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox and Olive Kitteridge in its uncompromising and tender exploration of a life lost to prejudice and restored by love.’  ANTONIA HONEYWELL, Author of The Ship


‘An original, tender and brave first novel.’
 MAGGIE GEE, Orange Prize-shortlisted Author of The White Family