Book review: The Astonishing Return Of Norah Wells

THE Astonishing Return Of Norah Wells marks the triumphant return of Virginia Macgregor, author of What Milo Saw.

And in this, her second offering, Macgregor affirms her place at the forefront of contemporary fiction, with a novel so engaging and powerful you’ll want to read it in one gluttonous sitting.

However, despite its pull, this is a novel that should be cherished and savoured, for its ending will come all too soon and it’s a wrench to be parted from the wonderful family at the heart of this story.

Indeed, Macgregor shapes some of the most delightful and endearing characters you’ll read, and a family that, while far from perfect, is a poignant reminder of the beautiful and enduring bonds, both biological and non-biological, that exist between humans in this most fundamental of social units.

Is it too early to say this is one of the books of 2016? 

Maybe. However, it’s definitely not too early to say this is a very special book and one to watch this year.

The Astonishing Return Of Norah Wells

Virginia Macgregor

Littlebrown, €19.70; ebook, €13.80


My seven-year-old stood tall, whispered “bravery” to herself and stepped into the pitch-black dungeon. I stood there and watched her disappear.Learner Dad: I hate nostalgia, I think it’s mawkish and sentimental

Dr Phil Kieran says head lice is incredibly common among school children and offers practical advice on how to remove the crawlers with easy treatments.Tackling head lice: Easy treatments to remove itchy creepers

Gráinne Healy only started running regularly a few years ago. She’s already completed 50 parkruns. She tells Rowena Walsh what motivates her.Ageing with Attitude: Parkruns and quiet Friday nights

Against popular wisdom and flying a plane made from bamboo, wire and bike handlebars, a Co Antrim woman blazed a sky trail for aviation and for the independence of women, writes Bette BrowneMagnificent Lilian Bland blazed a trail for independence of women in her plane of bamboo

More From The Irish Examiner