A Good Hiding
By Shirley-Anne McMillan
In a church in Belfast at Christmas, a boy, a girl, and a priest are in hiding. Fear keeps secrets. Life demands the truth. Which would you choose?
Nollaig has survived life in Belfast with her alcoholic dad on wits, courage and the gift of the gab. But now she's frightened: not for herself, but for the baby she's secretly carrying.
She decides to run away. She finds refuge in the little-used crypt of a local church. She plans to stay there until after Christmas, when she'll be sixteen and free to leave home for good.
The only person she tells about her pregnancy, her plans, and her hiding place is her best friend Stephen. He knows only too well how dangerous the truth can be, if the truth marks you out as 'different'.
When the church's vicar discovers them, they think their time is up; but they've discovered his little secret - and will use it against him if he reveals theirs.
Overlooked by an angel in the stained glass, these three souls-in-hiding face the choice before them: a life hidden in the safety of shadows, or a life lived freely, fully fledged and in plain sight?
Shirley-Anne McMillan was born in Lisburn, Northern Ireland. She studied at Queen's University, Belfast and Manchester Metropolitan University. Shirley-Anne wrote and performed with Belfast-based arts group, Ikon, for several years and she currently lives in South Down where she spends her time as a writer, schools worker and mum.
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- Publication date:
04 Aug 2016
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A commendable message, delivered without finger-wagging, in a brisk and breezy novel that, despite the heavy subject matter, had me laughing aloud more than once. — Irish Independent