Moville author Sharon Thompson shares an introductory extract from her second novel, The Healer.

Sharon Thompson

Sharon’s Thompson’s newest novel ‘The Healer’ became a #1 Irish Crime Bestseller in the first week of its January release – such was the excitement among the author’s fans.

This week in our ‘Woman’s Words’ literary series, we are delighted to share an extract from Sharon’s second novel to give readers a taste of the dark family drama.

Here we meet Molly, a beautiful young girl living in 1940’s Ireland who isn’t like others.

The Healer by Sharon Thompson

The Healer – An extract from Chapter 1

What do you mean the bleeding has stopped?’

‘Your Molly put her hand on me there now and muttered the prayers in Irish and that was that. You saw it yourself.’

I like this lady in the fancy coat with the fur collar. No-one other than Daddy thinks I’m much of anything. I’m supposed to look people in the eye and listen to their nonsense. But sure, all that just makes me tired.

‘Does it take it out of you, Molly?’ the tall lady asks me in her nice accent, as she moves to leave our kitchen. She stops in the doorway. ‘You look exhausted now, child. I cannot thank you enough. You’ll have to take something for helping me?’

‘Are you sure it’s stopped your bleeding?’ Mammy asks the lady with the hair curls. Mammy’s taking the wad of notes off her anyway saying, ‘You didn’t check? Are you sure now that it’s all away?’

I peek at the lady as the whisper out of her is loud. ‘Aren’t ya a woman yourself? I know when it has all stopped. You shouldn’t ask me those things with men present.’

Daddy slicks a hand over his remaining hair, leans back on the stool and thrusts his long legs out by the open fire and puffs on his pipe. I know that’s the way he is when he’s pleased with me. After the woman leaves in her big car, and Mammy isn’t looking, he’ll give me some sweets from the tin on the mantlepiece, that his eldest brother Vincent brought him from Dublin.

I don’t notice the woman leaving as I’m away ‘with the fairies’, as Mammy calls it. There are no fairies like Mammy thinks. But, I suppose, I do go away into the shadows of my mind and listen to the dark shapes that I can see out of the corner of my eyes.

‘I’ve told you time and time again, Nancy. Our Molly has the gift. And that educated woman left a grand stash of money.’ Daddy fills his pipe with new tobacco and I sit on the floor, pulling the last of the stuffing from my straw doll’s stomach. I roll it into little clumps. They are scratchy against my cheek. ‘When God takes away something, he gives something in its place. Molly there is pretty and has the healing. They say as long as the child doesn’t take money herself, she’ll keep the gifts. We’ll see over time how much of the healing she has. She could be one of the best around about here.’

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