Published in the Uk MAY 27TH 2021.
In the US July 13th 2021
I COULDN'T LOVE YOU MORE
Rosaleen is still a teenager, in the early Sixties, when she meets the famous sculptor Felix Lichtman. Felix is foreign, dangerous, bohemian – everything she dreamed of in the cold nights of her Catholic boarding school, and at first their life together is glitteringly romantic - drinking in Soho’s French pub, travelling to Marseilles. But it’s not long before Rosaleen finds herself fearfully, unexpectedly alone. Desperate, she seeks help from the only source she knows, the local priest, and is directed across the sea on a journey that will seal her fate.
Kate lives in Nineties London with her young daughter, the promise and energy of her career as an artist stifled by the unhappiness of her marriage. But something is stirring in Kate; and as the realities of her life threaten to overwhelm her, she is forced to contemplate the mystery of her past. Close to breaking point, she heads to Ireland, not knowing what she hopes to find.
Aoife sits at her husband Cashel’s bedside as he lies dying, and tells him the story of their marriage: of their courtship in wartime London, their three daughters, their return from exile to the farm in County Cork. But there is a crucial part of the story missing, and, with time running out, Aoife needs Cashel to tell her: what became of Rosaleen?
Captivating and heartbreakingly beautiful, I Couldn’t Love You More is an unforgettable novel about love, motherhood, secrets and outright lies.
Letter from the Author:
"When my mother became pregnant at eighteen, unmarried, with her strict Catholic family recently moved from London back to Ireland, she kept the news a secret. She went home for Christmas – the baby was due in April – and relieved not to have been discovered, she didn’t go again. She was terrified her parents might have had her put into a home, a workhouse for morally defective girls and women, and even when she had her second child (me, in 1963) they still didn’t know. It wasn't until some years later that she was spotted, waiting at a bus stop, with two small girls. ‘I didn’t know your daughter was married?’ A letter was sent across to Ireland, but by then it was too late. We’d made a family. We were safe.
My novel was written in response to the idea: What would have happened if she’d been found out, or if she’d asked for help from the wrong people? Would her story have followed the path of so many thousands of other girls, and would anyone have intervened?"
- Esther Freud