After Shell's mother dies, her obsessively religious father descends into alcoholic mourning and Shell is left to care for her younger brother and sister. Her only release from the harshness of everyday life comes from her budding spiritual friendship with a naive young priest, and most importantly, her developing relationship with childhood friend, Declan, charming, eloquent and persuasive. But when Declan suddenly leaves Ireland to seek his fortune in America, Shell finds herself pregnant and the centre of a scandal that rocks the small community in which she lives, with repercussions across the whole country. The lives of those immediately around her will never be the same again.
Winner of Branford Boase Award 2007.
Shortlisted for Carnegie Medal 2007.
Siobhan Dowd lived in Oxford with her husband, Geoff, before tragically dying from cancer in August 2007, aged 47. She was both an extraordinary writer and an extraordinary person. A Swift Pure Cry was Siobhan's first novel and it has won the Branford Boase Award and the Eilis Dillon Award and was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and Booktrust Teenage Prize. Her second novel, The London Eye Mystery, won the 2007 NASEN & TES Special Educational Needs Children's Book Award. Siobhan's third astonishing but sadly posthumous book, Bog Child, will be published in February 2008.