Tell me what I am


Deena Garvey disappeared in 2004. She left behind a daughter and a sister. Deena’s daughter grows up in the country. She learns how to hunt, when to seed the garden, how to avoid making her father angry. Never to ask about her absent mother. Deena’s sister stays stuck in the city, getting desperate. She knows the man responsible for her sister’s disappearance, but she can’t prove it. Not yet. Over fourteen years, four hundred miles apart, these two women slowly begin to unearth the secrets and lies at the heart of their family, and the history of power and control that has shaped them both.

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‘Beautiful, haunting.’ LOUISE KENNEDY
‘Vividly real . . . There’s love here as well as pain.’ MARIAN KEYES
‘A sure-footed and emotionally complex novel . . . absorbing.’ IRISH TIMES
‘I loved it.’ LIZ NUGENT

Please don’t hang up. I don’t know if you remember. You used to live with me. You and your mother.

Ruby lives with her father in an old farmhouse at the end of a dirt road. He teaches her to hunt, to forage for mushrooms, to gut a fish. She learns to tiptoe around his temper – and never to ask about her absent mother.

Ruby has no idea that, hundreds of miles away, a woman she barely remembers is desperate to answer those same questions.

Captivating, tender and deeply moving, Tell Me What I Am is an unforgettable portrait of the indelible bonds of family – and how far we will go for the ones we love.

‘Haunting and deeply moving.’ OBSERVER
‘Propulsive and richly atmospheric.’ IRISH INDEPENDENT
‘An engrossing, deftly-told story with an aching secret at its heart, this is a profoundly moving novel of family and women standing strong together.’ LISA BALLANTYNE
‘Sharp, poignant, thrilling and moving.’ CHRIS WHITAKER
‘Compelling . . . Mannion writes with a lyrical economy that stands out, and always shows a deep empathy for her well-drawn characters.’ IRISH EXAMINER
‘A wrenching portrait of the umbilical bond between mother and child and, more powerfully still, an icily persuasive account of the subtle dark arts of male coercion and abuse.’ DAILY MAIL


‘A brilliantly told story, engrossing, with love, pain, heartbreak and darkness. The characterisation was excellent and the plot was moving and gently woven.’ 5* reader review
‘I raced through… Well-written, incredibly tense and chilling in parts.’ 5* reader review
‘A book to savour and appreciate as well as enjoy.’ 5* reader review
‘This is such a powerful story of love and family. It kept me awake desperate to find out what had happened to affect them all so badly.’ 5* reader review
‘This is a beautifully written novel with powerfully drawn characters.’ 5* reader review
‘Had me hooked… Loved it.’ 5* reader review
‘Wow what a book!’ 5* reader review

**Una Mannion’s first novel, A Crooked Tree, is available now**

Additional information

Dimensions 19.8 × 12.9 cm