All the Bad Apples
Published 1st August 2019
Penguin Paperback Original £7.99
The new YA novel from Waterstones Children’s Book Prize- and Irish Book Award-shortlisted author Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Touching on the themes of abortion, illegitimate pregnancy, the tragedy of the Magdalen Laundries, rape and gay rights, All the Bad Apples is a powerful, haunting and unforgettable novel about silenced women in Ireland.
On Deena’s seventeenth birthday, the day she finally comes out to her family, her wild and mysterious sister Mandy is seen leaping from a cliff. The family is heartbroken, but not surprised. The women of the Rys family have always been troubled – ‘bad apples’, their father calls them – and Mandy is the baddest of them all.
But then Deena starts to receive the letters. Letters from Mandy, claiming that their family’s blighted history is not just bad luck or bad decisions, but a curse, handed down to the Rys women through the generations. Mandy has gone in search of the curse’s roots, and now Deena must begin a desperate cross-country hunt for her sister, guided only by the letters that mysteriously appear in each new place. What Deena finds will heal their family’s rotten past – or rip it apart forever.
Fowley-Doyle says: “All the Bad Apples is a book built of equal parts hope and fury – it’s about feminism and history, family and identity, and what happens when hidden truths are told. I wrote it as Ireland reeled from the findings of the Commission of Investigation into Mother and Baby Homes, as grassroots feminist activists rallied to repeal the 8th amendment, and the rage felt by most of this country infused into a story about a teenage girl retracing her family tree and finding herself in its branches.”
This was such a powerful, beautiful, dark and haunting read. I just wanted to tell you this is book does talk about hard to read topics. The writing is beautiful. I liked the magical aspects of this book as well. I think this is a book that everyone needs to read!
That’s the problem with having a funeral for your sister without really knowing whether she’s dead. Without a body in the coffin, how can you be sure she won’t come back?
Once the curse comes to you, it doesn’t let go.
But I did. I didn’t have a choice. None of us did, all the bad apples.
Everything became this haunted darkness, this sharp cliff’s edge, there, right there, my bare feet toeing the line between ground and sky.
About the author
Moïra is half-French, half-Irish and lives in Dublin. Her first novel, The Accident Season, was shortlisted for the Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and received widespread critical acclaim. Her second, Spellbook of the Lost and Found, was shortlisted for an Irish Book Award.
Advance Praise for All the Bad Apples
“Beautiful and visceral, All the Bad Apples is for readers who’ve had enough of shame and secrets. This essential book unearths what patriarchy wants to keep buried, dragging truth into the light with a fierce belief in the power of telling stories. Moïra Fowley-Doyle has crafted a tale devastating in its universality” – Joy McCullough, author of Blood Water Paint