The Empty Family, By Colm Tóibín

There's no place like home...once it's gone

This collection of short stories is about the pain of regrets that almost always involve a sense of a home lost, evoked either through a particular person or a place.

In "Silence", a fragment from Henry James's notebooks becomes a moment of lost love for the unhappily married Lady Gregory, doyenne of the Celtic Revival movement.

In "Two Women", a successful set designer returns to Dublin from LA, only to be reminded of an abortive love affair. In "The New Spain", Carme returns to her home town with nostalgic memories, only to find her family selling off the land she loves for cheap housing. Colm Tóibín's beautiful and carefully executed prose conveys intimacy the way one might whisper a secret.