The cod have vanished from Big Running, and now the people are disappearing too. As the fishing industry collapses and residents leave the island in search of work, 10-year-old Finn finds himself living in a ghost town, a place where whole rows of houses stand abandoned. But Finn still has his sister, Cora, with whom he counts the dwindling boats on the coast each night, and Mrs Callaghan, who teaches him the melodies of their native Ireland. That is until his sister disappears, and Finn must find a way of calling home the family and the life he has lost.
Emma Hooper is a musician and writer. As a musician, her solo project 'Waitress for the Bees' tours internationally and has earned her a Finish Cultural Knighthood. As an author, she has published short stories, non-fiction pieces, poetry and libretti as well as a number of academic papers. She is a research-lecturer at Bath Spa University, in the Commercial Music department, but goes home to cross-country ski in Canada as much as she can afford.
Beautiful, eccentric, romantic, hugely satisfying Big Issue on 'Etta and Otto and Russell and James' A sweet, disarming story of lasting love The New York Times on 'Etta and Otto and Russell and James' Wonderful! Incredibly moving, beautifully written and luminous with wisdom. A book that restores one's faith in life even as it deepens its mystery Chris Cleave Magnificently arresting, fresh, gripping. A bright new star of literature ... will leave you thinking on a new level about the connections between men, women and places The Times on 'Etta and Otto and Russell and James' Lovely and lyrical. A story about storytellers told with a beguiling simplicity. Hooper's work brims with mermaids and music and memory Toronto Star With stark prose, Hooper captures the desperation and difficulty of life on the edge of civilization. Heartbreaking and empathetic, Hooper's fine novel is a haunting evocation of changing times and the power of place Publishers Weekly Emma Hooper has constructed such an authentic sense of place from such a distant shore Irish Times Hooper is fascinated by the emotional territory of migration and how individual lives are shaped by forces as powerful and inexorable as the sea Daily Mail The prose flows like the waves it recounts: back and forth seamlessly . . . it is elegant and musical The List Emma Hooper has used her craft and knowledge to weave together a plot mindful of narrative's oral and lyrical beginnings, integrating folk tale and song into her work . . . an almost musical rhythm and pulse not often found in fiction writing Literary Review Our Homesick Songs tells a relevant, strong story about the impact of environmental change on rural communitiesand the way the young generation can feel responsible for and angry at what their forebears have done [...] This is a novel in love with music, magic and the idealism of childhood The Times Warm-hearted and winsomely imaginative Sunday Times The town is filled with magic, and so is Hooper's writing New York Times A Wes Anderson-esque tale to fall for Stylist