McPartlin's second novel (after Pack Up the Moon) follows the unlikely story of two tormented people who come together in a small Irish town. Mary has survived the deaths of her mother, her first love and her five-year-old son, earning her the nickname Mary of the Sorrows from the residents of Kenmare, Ireland. When Sam Sullivan, a music executive from New York, moves in next door, the town would like nothing more than for handsome Sam to bring her happiness.

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Mary, however, is happy to keep things as they are and tend to her best friend Penny, recently brokenhearted and turning to drink, and Ivan, her cousin who is lonesome after his wife left him. Sam isn't looking for love either. Instead, he has traveled to his grandmother's birthplace seeking refuge from his demons. Despite their best efforts, Mary and Sam grow close, and through their friendship they find the strength to build their lives again. McPartlin presents a realistic and complex story of love in its many forms without piling on the melodrama, and an unexpected conclusion helps elevate this sophomore outing.


Anna’s debut novel Pack Up The Moon was published in January 2006, it went on to be a best seller both here and abroad.

Since then Anna’s written three more novels, So What If I’m Broken being her latest work. She’s also written School Run, a TV comedy-drama for TV3 which was nominated for both an IFTA and a TV award. Anna’s books are published in Ireland, Germany, America, Russia, The UK and Australia. She’s currently working on her first film.

In the early nineties, Anna ran an alternative cabaret called Tales of the City in a run down bar on Capel Street. The show comprised of a Dutch torch singer, a folk rock band, an ancient alcoholic queen of monologues, and a waitress in drag … not to mention comedy. Anna was a stand up comedienne for four years and it is her experience writing sketches that ignited her passion for storytelling.

Friends and family are Anna’s inspiration. Given the amount of upheaval and tragedy Anna has experienced in her life from a very young age, it is no wonder friends and family are what she cherishes most and evidence of this is in all of her work. It tickles your funny bone, tugs at your heartstrings, and reminds you to never give up on love.

Anna’s lived many kinds of lives in this short lifetime her parents separated when she was five and her mother was diagnosed with MS when she was six. She lived with and cared for her Mum and her Gran until the age of twelve and was then fostered by her Aunt and Uncle who lived in Kenmare, Co. Kerry. At the age of 14, Anna was introduced to her half sister who had been living thirty five miles away from her. At 17, she lost her mother, and a few years later she lost a close friend to suicide, as well as her father to cancer, though she never really knew him. She nearly lost her own life when she was hit by a car aged 21. Surviving loss and being faced with death inspired Anna to write about the darker side of life but because she has been lucky enough to be surrounded by joyful people her work and life is brimming with hope and laughter.

Anna’s husband Donal is a drummer who has worked with Jack Lukeman and Junkster. He’s currently in an up and coming band called Torchlight. Anna’s been supporting and following her husband around the world for sixteen years and she looks forward to continuing doing so for the next 16 years.

Her most recent novel So What If I’m Broken is the story of four strangers who vow to find a missing person but first they must find themselves.



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National Library of Ireland

American Irish Historical Society

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