MOTHER OF PEARL, the first novel by an acclaimed Irish short-story writer, explores the disturbing territory of the divided self. Through the story of the kidnapping of a baby, the notion of personal history as received fiction is examined. The novel asks: what makes a family? Is it mere kinship through blood, or something more profound and intricate? What keeps it together? What tears it apart? The action of the novel is seen through the eyes of a baby's mother, the kidnapper and the child itself. Dramatic, blackly funny and tragically topical, MOTHER OF PEARL is a remarkable achievement.