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Reading from The Watch House by Bernie McGill at the Old Church Centre, Cushendun

17. September 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


As part of Culture Month, Cushendun Old Church Centre is hosting an afternoon of readings with author Bernie McGill, inspired by the North Antrim coast.

Bernie McGill’s novel The Watch House is set on Rathlin Island at the time of the Marconi telegraphy experiments in 1898. A pair of strangers arrives from the mainland, laden with mysterious radio equipment, and the islanders are full of dread. For native Nuala Byrne, abandoned by her family for the New World and trapped by a prudent marriage to the island’s ageing tailor, the prospects for adventure are bleak. But when she is sent to cook for Marconi’s men and is enlisted, by the Italian engineer Gabriel, as an apprentice operator, she becomes enthralled by the world of knowledge that he brings from beyond her own narrow horizons. As Nuala’s friendship with Gabriel deepens, she realises that her deal with the tailor was a bargain she should never have struck.

Praise for The Watch House:

‘McGill writes about life, love and telegraphy with a poet’s clarity’ The Sunday Times

The Watch House, set on Rathlin Island at the turn of the 20th century, [is] awash in old rituals and impending transformations, in loyalties and enmities and all manner of local witchery’ Patricia Craig, Irish Times Books of the Year

‘The book is a masterclass in how to marry narrative and setting.’ David Park, Irish Times

‘A mesmerising, clever and surprisingly brutal novel’ Belfast Telegraph

‘Hard to put down, this atmospheric book will stay with you long after the final heart-rending denouement, setting McGill firmly into the panoply of modern Irish writers’ Irish Independent

‘McGill proves once again she is a masterful storyteller . . . historical fiction at its absolute best’ The Lady

Book for this event on the Cushendun Old Church Centre website.

*Please note that Bernie will facilitate a Writing Workshop at the Old Church Centre on the morning of Saturday 17th September from 11am to 1pm. Booking details on the Old Church Centre website.


Old Church Centre, Cushendun
1 Church Lane
Cushendun, BT44 0PG United Kingdom
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