by Tadhg Coakley

With its unique subject matter and structure akin to Donal Ryans ‘The Spinning Heart’, ‘The First Sunday in September’ is a must-read. Tadhg Coakley wonderfully captures the excitement of All-Ireland day.

Having re-mortgaged his home a hungover Clareman gambles the last of his money on his county to win. Sarah Taylor attends the final with her partner, Conor Dunlea, wondering when to tell him that she’s pregnant. Tim Collins watches the match from the stands, his gaze repeatedly falling on the Cork captain, Sean Culloty, whom he and his wife, Evelyn, gave up for adoption years earlier.

Clare star forward Cillian McMahon struggles under the weight of expectation. Cork’s talisman Darren O Sullivan waits for the sliotar to fall from the sky, aware that his destiny is already set. These are just a few of the characters whose lives we join for a day. A mix of Elizabeth Strout’s ‘Olive Kitteridge’ and Chad Harbach’s ‘The Art of Fielding’.