A sea of troubles: The Coast Road, by Alan Murrin, reviewed

Contemporary Irish writers have a knack of making their recent past feel very foreign. Clare Keegan’s Small Things Like These is set in 1985, but the horrors she reveals about one of Ireland’s Magdalene laundries seem more like ancient history. Alan Murrin pulls off something similar in The Coast Road, where in late 1994 divorce is still illegal in Ireland, unlike the rest of Europe. Izzy Keaveney, a housewife with two teenage children, ‘has the depression’ and has dragged herself to Sunday morning mass despite a hangover. She spent the previous evening at a dinner-dance, listening to her politician husband James give a talk about the importance of business in