Where The Heart Should Be

Sarah Crossan

This has everything I love in a novel – a historical setting based on true events, a verse format (ideal for time-poor teens) and the text written by one of my favourite authors. Award-winning Irish writer Sarah Crossan retells a familiar story of a doomed love affair between Nell, an Irish scullery maid and Johnny, an English boy newly arrived In Ireland to collect his inheritance. The potato crop is failing and Nell soon finds herself torn between her feelings and her family’s survival.

Every word Sarah Crossan writes is superb. She conjures deep emotions and vivid descriptions, playing with space across the pages to garner full effect.

Set during The Great Hunger of 1845 – 1852 this is highly recommended as a way into reading about history or as a first verse novel.

Published by Bloomsbury, 2024 (400 pages)

Suitable for teens and above

Reviewed by Rachel Bolton