Breathnach is always a special pleasure to read for his clean, spare style, which can be poetic, supple, or moving as the moment requires.
The Irish Times
Pádraic Breathnach is a writer renowned as a stylist, a nature lover and for his depiction of youth, and the seventeen stories in this collection will do much to reinforce his reputation as a talented wordsmith. This work was awarded the top prize for a short-story collection in the Oireachtas literary competition 2003.
Ingne Dearga Dheaideo has the variety that readers have come to expect of a Pádraic Breathnach collection of short stories. The opening story, Anam Mná, explores the plight of a mother mourning the loss of her first-born child, and brilliantly captures her devastation and disbelief at what has happened. Iníon describes a father’s anxious wait for the return of his wayward teenage daughter from a night out. M’Uncail Máirtín agus Cailleacha Mheiriceá is a wonderful, parable-like tale of two witches in Manhattan who engage in a fierce stone-throwing battle. The author explores a wide range of themes in this collection, including grief, old age, the eternal struggle between tradition and modernity and life through the eyes of a child.