Breakdown – Cathy Sweeney


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One winter morning, in contemporary Dublin, a middle-class woman wakes up next to her husband in her suburban home, and without conscious purpose, walks out the front door to begin a journey that ultimately leads to profound transfiguration.

She travels first by car and then train to Rosslare, from where she takes a ferry to Fishguard in Wales. Along the way, she finds herself in service stations, shopping centres, train stations, ferry terminals; recalling her youth, earlier fantasies of suicide and reminiscing about those people who have come in and out of her life.

Finally, 48 hours later, alone and isolated in a cottage in Wales, in a strange and eerie landscape, the woman reaches her nadir.

Breakdown is a novel about the rage and reckoning of a middle aged, educated woman who has lived her life in accordance with the expectations of society.


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