Belfast Gate (Tom McCauley)

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It's Belfast in 2019 and despite more than twenty years of peace, scores of so-called peace walls continue to separate Catholic and Protestant neighbourhoods. Jean Beattie's grief turns to anger when police refuse to open the peace gate at the end of her street to allow her best friend's funeral procession through to her church on the other side of the peace wall. The gate remains closed because local youths, led by Sam on one side and Seamie on the other, are recreational rioting. Comforted by her friends Roberta, Bridget and Patricia from the cross-community pensioners' club, Jean vows the gate will be opened. On the fiftieth anniversary of the erection of the peace walls, in the era of Brexit and Trump's border wall, the themes in Tony Macaulay's laugh-out-loud novel resonate far beyond Northern Ireland.'Belfast Gate is a terrific read, well plotted and insightful...A film or TV deal surely beckons.' Irish News Book of the Week