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If you go down to the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise

Fiction: The Temple House Vanishing

Rachel Donohue

Corvus, hardback, 336 pages, €12.99

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Award: Rachel Donohue was the winner of the 2017 Hennessy prize for New Irish Writing

Award: Rachel Donohue was the winner of the 2017 Hennessy prize for New Irish Writing

The Temple House Vanishing by Rachel Donohue

The Temple House Vanishing by Rachel Donohue

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Award: Rachel Donohue was the winner of the 2017 Hennessy prize for New Irish Writing

Two 16-year-old girls, "bored and in search of meaning", strike up a friendship in a Catholic girls' boarding school.

Louisa is the newcomer, one of the first brought in on a scholarship scheme. Suffice to say the other girls are none too welcoming. Victoria represents something thrilling to Louisa. She's rich, and seemingly sophisticated, everything that Louisa isn't, but wants to be, and before long the two are growing closer.

Then there's Edward Lavelle, the art teacher. He's a bit exotic, mysterious, nothing much is known about his background. He's also a man, quite the novelty when most of the other teachers, being nuns, are not. He's said to swim naked off the rocks at night. Some of the girls are infatuated with him, though "some thought he was ancient, at least 30".