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Factory Girls

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Audiobook Downloadable / ISBN-13: 9781529386301

Price: £24.99

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‘Vital, bang-on, and seriously funny’ Roddy Doyle

The second novel from the Costa Prize shortlisted author of Big Girl, Small Town.

Smart-mouthed and filthy-minded, Maeve Murray has always felt like an outsider in the shitty wee town in Northern Ireland that she calls home. She hopes her exam results will be her ticket to a new life in London; a life where no one knows her business, or cares about her dead sister. But first she’s got to survive a tit-for-tat paramilitary campaign as brutal as her relationship with her mam, iron 800 shirts a day to keep her summer job in the local factory, and dodge the attentions of Handy Andy Strawbridge, her dubious English boss.

Maeve and her two best friends try to squeeze in as much fun as possible into their last summer at home. But as marching season raises tensions between the Catholic and Protestant workforce, Maeve realises something is going on behind the scenes at the factory, forcing her to make a choice that will impact her life – and the lives of others – forever.

(P)2022 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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Reviews

Full of the stuff that we're starting to expect of Michelle Gallen; wild, hilariously angry characters, and language that is vital, bang-on, and seriously funny
Roddy Doyle
A wee novel with an enormous, furious heart . . . Honest, hilarious and such a recognisable portrait of 90s Northern Ireland, Factory Girls is an essential read
Jan Carson
A gorgeous, gritty and hilarious love letter to working class Northern Ireland in the 1990s. Gallen's protagonist, Maeve Murray . . . is a compelling creation who crackles brilliantly from the first pages
Maeve Galvin
One of the most moving and hilarious novels I have ever read . . . Factory Girls is one of the best books ever written about the Troubles, and one of the best books I've read in a very long time
Silas House
Brilliantly observed and full of heart, Factory Girls will be up there on my list of best books for this year
Sheila O'Flanagan
Provocative in more ways than one!
Melatu-Uche Okorie
Majella O'Neill was no flash-in-the-pan - Factory Girls is a powerful second novel. It has all of Gallen's flair for character, her ear for dialogue and her unparalleled sense of comic timing. And this novel cuts deeper, throbs with pent-up fury, a palpable sense of real and urgent despair. Viciously funny
Lucy Caldwell
A riot of a read. A masterclass in voice, the North and the 90s
Sue Divin
A much-awaited second triumph of dark humour - fabulous, dirty dancing words, that lift the soul. Gallen knows how to move us and make us roar at the same time. Jumping out with hysteria, Maeve is the hilarious queen of truth we all want to be
Helen Lederer
Some writers make you think; some writers make you laugh till you cry. Michelle Gallen belongs to that rare, rare group of writers who make you think even as the tears are tripping you. Factory Girls is a seriously funny novel - that manages at the same time to be deadly serious - about work, about friendship, about Northern Ireland in the months leading up to the 1994 ceasefire, and about being a teenager, any time, anywhere
Glenn Patterson
Highly entertaining . . . crackles with good one-liners . . . yet this earthy comedy also has telling things to say about violence and division
Martin Chilton, Independent, Books of the Month
Gallen writes with such verve and vivacity, her pacing pitch perfect and her dialogue sharp, true and laugh out loud funny. . . In Maeve, the factory and the town, we feel the heat of the 90s in Northern Ireland, the strength and weakness of teenage friendships against a simmering backdrop of turmoil and change - everything moving forward despite the hold the past has on the place. Gallen's evocation of community and place is extraordinary, a masterclass in dark humour.
Olivia Fitzsimons, author of The Quiet Whispers Never Stop
Michelle Gallen's Factory Girls pulses with dark, irreverent humor. Set in a place where dreams are laughable at best, dangerous at worst, it's a big F you to the only world these characters know. And yet, there's vulnerability here. Hope, too. I loved it.
Mary Beth Keane, NYT bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes
Gallen manages to take a dark and violent period in history and turn it into one of the most moving and hilarious novels I have ever read. The rich cast of characters will break your heart and make you laugh out loud, sometimes within the same paragraph. I found it difficult to put this book down; while reading it the rest of the world fell away and I was transported to Northern Ireland via an unforgettable voice and a steadily boiling story of friendship, grief, and determination. Factory Girls is one of the best books ever written about The Troubles, and one of the best books I've read in a very long time
Silas House, author of Southernmost and Lark Ascending
A cracking follow-up - at times savagely funny, but with a loamy undertow of complex feeling . . . Fans of the contemporary Irish authors Lisa McInerney and Louise Kennedy should enjoy it too.
Patricia Nicol, Sunday Times, best popular fiction books of 2022
Original and compelling . . . Gallen's comic, insightful novel . . . shares brilliantly the tangled stories of young women in a struggling provincial town. . . . Factory Girls brings a hidden generation of young women to the literary stage, and does so in a flurry of 'thons' and 'skitters'.
Nicholas Allen, Irish Times
The perfect pick for those missing their dose of Derry Girls
Irish Examiner
If the cast of Derry Girls worked in a shirtmaking factory . . . There's a lot of laugh-out-loud humour . . . but at its heart it's an emotional read
Belfast Telegraph
Gallen's pen draws blood with the sharpness of her observations, rendering a fresh and acutely more complex portrait of Northern Ireland through Maeve's eyes . . . Brilliantly, wickedly funny and soul-crushingly sad, Gallen has written the Vienetta of books this summer
Fiona Murphy, Irish Independent
Funny, poignant and provocative
Daily Mirror (Ulster)
This novel is a wonder; the heroine is cheeky, the humour dark, the dialect thick, the sorrow palpable. Fans of Kenneth Branagh's Belfast and television's Derry Girls will find much to love
Library Journal, starred review