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Gabi's Review

Hagstone takes place on a remote and rugged west Irish island, where the landscape, ideas of infinity, hagstones and the Inions, play a major role in protagonist Nell's artwork. The Inions are a community of displaced women from different parts of the world, who view the island as a sacred place of refuge and connection with nature.

Nell receives an invitation to join the Inions at their commune Rathglas, after sending them her book The Mothers of Sorrow: A Female Bible, a work of four new gospels by women to replace Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The Inions commission a special art piece to celebrate their rich diversity. As she works on the commission, Nell begins to uncover surprising truths about the community and herself, challenging many of her preconceived notions.

Astute and interesting, Sinéad Gleeson's novel explores the supernatural and the shadowy depths of the human psyche amid the enigmatic connections between faith and the environment. 

Listen to an ABC interview from The Drawing Room with Sinead Gleeson

Publishers Reviews


‘Wild, singular…gripped me from the start’ - DOUGLAS STUART

'Passionate, wild, hugely atmospheric' - DAVID NICHOLLS

‘Intelligent, probing’ - MAGGIE O'FARRELL

‘A gorgeous, mysterious read’ - AISLING BEA

‘I adored it’ - LOUISE KENNEDY

*A most anticipated 2024 debut in BBC, Daily Mail, Stylist, New Statesman, Sunday Independent, Irish Times and Irish Examiner*

The haunting debut novel from acclaimed, Irish no. 1 bestselling author, Sinéad Gleeson.

The sea is steady for now. The land readies itself. What can be done with the woman on the cliff?

On a wild and rugged island cut off and isolated to some, artist Nell feels the island is her home. It is the source of inspiration for her art, rooted in landscape, folklore and the feminine. The mysterious Inions, a commune of women who have travelled there from all over the world, consider it a place of refuge and safety, of solace in nature.

All the islanders live alongside the strange murmurings that seem to emanate from within the depths of the island, a sound that is almost supernatural – a Summoning as the Inions call it. One day, a letter arrives at Nell’s door from the reclusive Inions who invite Nell into the commune for a commission to produce a magnificent art piece to celebrate their long history. In its creation, Nell will discover things about the community and about herself that will challenge everything she thought she knew.

Beautifully written and gripping, Sinéad Gleeson’s debut novel takes in the darker side of human nature and the mysteries of faith and the natural world. Perfect for readers of Margaret Atwood and Sarah Moss.

'Sublime' - OBSERVER

‘Original and captivating’ - BBC

'A gripping punch to the gut' - SUNDAY INDEPENDENT

‘Startling, engrossing, darkly playful’ - RODDY DOYLE

‘Magnificent…a literary page-turner’ - JENNIFER HIGGIE