Helen Cullen

The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually
  • The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually


    'A beautiful bittersweet story of love, loss and families all set in the most irresistible of locations. Tears were shed!' Graham Norton

    'A compassionate portrayal of love, support and grief ... a writer whose skill is matched by an ability to surprise with each new work'
    John Boyne, Irish Times

    'I devoured this, falling in love with the setting and with every character. It is just glorious. A close-up on the everyday beautiful details that make up love' Emma Flint, author of Little Deaths

    On an island off the west coast of Ireland, the Moone family are shattered by tragedy.

    Murtagh Moone is a potter and devoted husband to Maeve, an actor struggling with her most challenging role yet - being a mother to their four children. Now Murtagh must hold his family close as we bear witness to their story before that tragic night.

    We return to the day Maeve and Murtagh meet, outside Trinity College in Dublin, and watch how one love story gives rise to another. And as the Moone children learn who their parents truly are, we journey onwards with them to a future that none of the Moones could predict . . .

    Except perhaps Maeve herself.

    The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually is a celebration of the complex, flawed and stubbornly optimistic human heart.

    Longlisted for the Guardian's 'Not The Booker' prize!


    'A true gift of a novel. The Truth Must Dazzle Gradually generates a very bright light, one that is human, graceful, and healing. It's an absolute pleasure to read' Sebastian Barry

    'Intensely moving, beautifully written and drenched with Irish atmosphere, this novel asks brave and thoughtful questions about mental health'
    Daily Mail

    'Loved it. Beautiful and original'
    Sunday Independent

    'Cullen is a thoughtful writer and she dissects the stubborn optimism of the human heart with skill and sympathy' Irish Independent

    'A perfect combination of deeply-felt tragedy with great hopefulness'
    Anne Youngson, author of Meet me at the Museum

    'A beautifully observed saga of abandoned dreams, loss and self-discovery. A fabulous creation'
    Alan McGonagle, author of Ithaca

    'So wonderful on the Irish family and the utter complexity of motherhood, family entanglement and love. I was full on weeping at the end'
    Elaine Feeney, author of As You Were

Helen Cullen is an Irish writer living in London. She is the author of The Lost Letters of William Woolf which has been optioned for television. She was shortlisted for Newcomer of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. To learn more, please visit www.helencullen.ie

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