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‘Captivating’ Jan Carson
‘Dazzling’ Danielle McLaughlin
‘Stunning’ Sue Divin
‘Compelling’ Stephen Walsh
‘A huge achievement’ Niamh Boyce

In 1982, Nuala Malin struggles to stay connected, to her husband, to motherhood, to the smallness of her life in the belly of a place that is built on hate and stagnation. Her daughter Sam and baby son PJ keep her tethered to this life she doesn’t want. She finds unexpected refuge with a seventeen-year-old boy, but this relationship is only temporary, a sticking plaster on a festering wound. It cannot last and when her chance to leave Northern Ireland comes, Nuala takes it.

In 1994, Sam Malin plans escape. She longs for a life outside her dysfunctional family, far away from the North and all its troubles, free from her quiet brooding father Patsy, who never talks about her mother, Nuala; a woman Sam barely knew, who abandoned them twelve years ago. She finds solace in music, drugs and her best friend Becca, but most of all in an illicit relationship with a jagged, magnetic older man.

She is drawn to him, and he to her, in a way she can’t yet comprehend.

Sam is more like her mother than she knows.


Captivating characters and stunning storytelling, plus the dialogue is just spot on. This is going to be a huge book
Jan Carson
A courageous and openhearted testimony to an unsung generation; to a time and place of unrest in all its melting-pot manifestations . . . The Quiet Whispers Never Stop is a very fine debut and Olivia Fitzsimons is a writer to follow closely
Alan McMonagle
A tour de force, a beautifully structured, compulsive, sensual, and sometimes raw read . . . Fitzsimons has a poet's control of language, and a vivid, cinematic eye . . . a huge achievement
Niamh Boyce
A stunning debut, written with a deep sense of the patriarchal claustrophobia that pervaded the north of Ireland across two generations in the Troubles . . . This book will go far
Sue Divin
A compelling story of dark places, both exterior and interior . . . A vividly realised book that held me in its grip, and will command your attention
Stephen Walsh
Dazzling. The delight Fitzsimons takes in language, and the skill with which she wields it, is evident on every page. A writer of immense talent
Danielle McLaughlin
Olivia Fitzsimons writes about things that most of us are not able to think about. It is almost as if she has excavated this story from one of the most inaccessible parts of the Irish psyche. Reading The Quiet Whispers Never Stop reminded me that even the most beautiful of women - especially these women - are at risk of being suffocated by a world that refuses to recognize them and alienates them from themselves and from each other
Louise Nealon