The place: County Derry, Ireland.
The time: Summer, 1974.
The problem: Loneliness.
Jamie McCloone’s early years in a grim, cruel
orphanage have left him wary of people and anxious
of change. Now in his early forties, he has no dreams
of changing his lonely life as a bachelor farmer until
his kind-hearted neighbours, Patrick and Rose,
decide he is in need of a wife. Lydia couldn’t be
more different to Jamie. Rector’s daughter and proper
schoolteacher, she still lives at home, looking after her
aged and demanding mother. She dreams constantly
of changing her spinsterly fate, but has no idea how
to—until a friend suggests she puts an ad in the
Lonely Hearts column of the Mid-Ulster Vindicator.
The result is a meeting of absolute opposites: farmer
Jamie with his cavalier attitude to personal hygiene
and his ignorance of the fairer sex, and Lydia Devine,
for whom everything must be folded neatly and laid
in its proper place—including her ideal man.
The Misremembered Man is a beautifully rendered
portrait of life in rural Ireland which charms and
delights with its authentic characters and gentle
humor. But the tears it brings to our eyes are not
only tears of laughter. This vivid portrayal of the
universal search for love brings with it a darker tale,
heartbreaking in its poignancy, for Jamie’s search
for love is truly a search for innocence and the
childhood that was stolen from him. In this exquisite
first novel, McKenna lays bare a sinister period of
Ireland’s history; one which many would prefer to
leave hidden and safe from investigative eyes.
About the Author
Christina McKenna grew up in
County Derry, Northern Ireland. She received
an honors degree in Fine Art from
the Belfast College of Art, and studied
postgraduate English at the University of
Ulster. In 1986 she left Northern Ireland
and spent ten years teaching both of these
subjects abroad. She was, at the same time, pursuing a career
as a painter. She mounted several exhibitions of her work
when abroad and upon her return to Northern Ireland. The
Misremembered Man is her first novel. She lives in Rostrevor,
County Down, with her husband.
The Critics Praise:
"...McKenna has created characters that readers will care about, and her lyrical dialog and
Irish colloquialisms are a delight to read." - Library Journal
"...amusing and affectionate, wittily and winningly detailed." - Kirkus