How to Build a Boat

Elaine Feeney


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Vintage Publishing
20 April 2023
ISBN: 9781787303454
304 pages

From the publisher

Meet Jamie and his community on the west coast of Ireland, in the most uplifting and tender book of the year

'A gorgeous gift of a novel' Douglas Stuart, no.1 bestselling author of Shuggie Bain

'Heart-rending and delightful' Louise Kennedy, no.1 bestselling author of Trespasses

Jamie O'Neill loves the colour red. He also loves tall trees, patterns, rain that comes with wind, the curvature of many objects, books with dust jackets, cats, rivers and Edgar Allan Poe. At age 13 there are two things he especially wants in life: to build a Perpetual Motion Machine, and to connect with his mother Noelle, who died when he was born. In his mind these things are intimately linked. And at his new school, where all else is disorientating and overwhelming, he finds two people who might just be able to help him.

How to Build a Boat is the story of how one boy and his mission transforms the lives of his teachers, Tess and Tadhg, and brings together a community. Written with tenderness and verve, it's about love, family and connection, the power of imagination, and how our greatest adventures never happen alone.

'A heart-stopping read' - Sinéad Gleeson, author of Constellations

'Bursting with soul' - Lisa McInerney, author of The Rules of Revelation

'I can't wait for readers to fall in love' - Jan Carson, author of The Raptures