In 1950, Katherine Proctor leaves Ireland and her family for Barcelona, determined to become a painter. There she meets Miguel, an anarchist veteran of the Spanish Civil War, and proceeds to build a life with him. But Katherine cannot escape her past, as Michael Graves, a fellow Irish emigre to Spain, forces her to re-examine all her relationships: to her lover, her art and the homeland she only thought she knew. "This is a strong and moving work of fiction about the hard truths of changing one's life. Colm Toibin, like his characters, never says too much and never lets us grow too comfortable. A grand achievement." - Don DeLillo. "A broad and beautifully worked canvas...An imaginative, deeply felt and evocative tale". "Sunday Times". "Colm Toibin writes prose of a heartbreaking beauty" - Hilary Mantel, "Daily Telegraph".