Darkly moving and beautifully written, Bernie McGill’s debut collection of short stories explores the lives of women across the generations. From the storm-battered coastline of the north of Ireland to the sleeping villas of Andalusia, McGill’s characters grapple with the consequences of affairs, bereavement, alcoholism, illness and murder.
Compassionate and quietly powerful, McGill’s stories capture intimate moments of loss, love and healing in a troubled age.
‘McGill’s plotting is masterful. These are “killer-blow” stories but [she] carefully guards against sensationalism. Her talent for combining keen observation with a kind of symbolic import is evident. Everything is very precisely described, and yet, more unusually, there is a lyric quality to the description. McGill herself brings not only an awareness of literature, but a poetic sensibility to how she layers her short stories as a poet would layer an image – conscious that meaning is ambiguous, contradictory, polyvalent.’ Dr Tess Magennis, Queen’s University, Belfast
‘Bernie McGill has a seductive way of easing the reader in and out of a story, without the need for killer opening sentences or twist endings. Hers is the voice of an authentic storyteller who guides the reader through her fictional world with authority… I rarely read the first story in a book and immediately re-read it, nor do I finish a short story collection and turn straight back to the beginning. In the case of Bernie McGill’s Sleepwalkers, I did both.’ Safia Moore in The Incubator Journal (p.67)
‘A writer to watch out for’ Sunday Tribune