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Haven (New York: Little Brown; Toronto: HarperCollins Canada; London: Picador, 2022).

In this adventure story set around the year 600, three Irishmen vow to leave the world behind and set out in a small boat to found a monastery on an island their leader has seen in a dream, with only faith to guide them. Drifting out into the Atlantic, they find an impossibly steep, bare rock inhabited by tens of thousands of birds, and claim it for God. In such a place, what will survival mean?

Haven is Donoghue’s fourteenth novel (and eighteenth book of fiction).

A personal note: This novel was inspired by a boat trip around the Skelligs in 2016. My plans to return and land on Skellig Michael in 2020 were derailed by what the monks would no doubt have taken in their stride as the latest pestilence to plague humankind, so I’ve never been there, except in spirit and imagination - the one form of travel that can’t be forbidden.

To buy Haven:

In the US

In Canada

In the UK

Wherever you live, PLEASE support your local indie bookstore by buying from them either directly or through an indie-friendly hub such as bookshop.org or hive.co.uk.


'‘Combines pressure-cooker intensity and radical isolation, to stunning effect.’ - Margaret Atwood

‘A beautiful and timely novel about isolation, passion and the conflict between obedience and self-preservation. The island setting and the characters stayed with me long after I finished reading.’ - Sarah Moss

’Told with the clarity of a fable … a patient, thoughtful novel with much to say.’ - Esi Edugyan

'Donoghue's prose glimmers with images of the pristine natural world ... As always, Donoghue extracts realistic emotions from characters interacting within close quarters and delicately explores the demands of faith. ... All lovers of thought-provoking literary fiction will be looking for this quietly dramatic tale.' - Booklist

'Donoghue has left behind none of her ability to spin a compelling story and people it with sharp characterizations. ... Generating narrative tension from a minimum of action, Donoghue brings the monks’ conflicts to … a satisfying conclusion. Reminiscent of Room (2010) in its portrayal of fraught interactions in a confined space ... More fine work from the talented Donoghue. - Kirkus

‘Brilliantly realized, utterly transporting ... Donoghue’s detailing of the island’s rugged geography and the methodical subsistence work of its dogged new stewards is masterful, almost hypnotic, but it’s the author’s quietly devastating depiction of the conflict between faith and survival, obedience and self-preservation, that powers this extraordinary novel.’ - lithub.com (starred review)