New Novel – Emmet and Me

So, the editing is done, the typeset is being prepared…

a beautiful and atmospheric cover has been designed by the wonderful lettering artist, Ruth Rowland, and my new novel ‘Emmet and Me’ will be published on 20th May.

It’s a story set in the landscape of 1960s rural Ireland. Ten-year-old Claire has moved to Connemara from Cardiff and is a misfit at her new school. Emmet is an inmate at an industrial school ‒ a place where life is harsh and often cruel. They share a love of books and horses, and become secret friends at primary school, but their forbidden friendship has a devastating effect on both of them.

In the weeks between now and publication day, I’ll blog about the inspiration behind ‘Emmet and Me’, about my research and the real lives that I aim to reflect in the novel.

I’ll talk about my writing process, and how one of my characters might reflect me in some ways, and the themes that seem to somehow find their way into all my stories ‒ hunger and identity.

My favourite spot in Connemara for editing

The next post will tell the story of how I stumbled upon a truly heart-breaking real-life tale that gave rise to the character of Emmet.

Until then, I’m delighted to be able to share a few early reviews of ‘Emmet and Me’

“…beautiful, perfectly set in time and place. A story of friendship, loyalty and trust… sweet but beneath that sweetness was a darkness that was heart breaking.” Sandy Taylor, author of ‘The Orphan’s Daughter’, shortlisted for the RNA Saga Award for best novel in 2021

“Sara Gethin has written something very special, very powerful, capturing the innocence of a beautiful friendship. With characters that are wonderfully portrayed, it is very easy to imagine the joy, the pain, the sorrow and the pure heartache of the lives lived and lost…Emmet and Me is a remarkable tale, a captivating novel that will leave its mark on every reader.” Mairéad Hearne, Swirl and Thread book blog

“The unspeakable cruelty of the Irish Industrial Schools and their devastating effect on children and families is laid bare in this profoundly moving, evocative story of a special friendship told through the eyes of a ten-year-old narrator. I loved it.” Laura Wilkinson, author of ‘Skin Deep’

Thank you for reading!

Until next time,

Sara x

PS. I’ll be at the Llandeilo (Virtual) LitFest on Sunday 25th April, talking about my books with Seonaid Francis. See all events. Tickets available now.

Emmet and Me is available to pre-order now from Honno, Amazon and BookshopUK


Eleanor Oliphant and Not Thomas on Shortlist for Waverton Good Read Award 2018



The winner of the Waverton Good Read Award for debut novels published in 2017 will be announced later this month, and I’m delighted that my own novel, ‘Not Thomas’, is on the shortlist.


I’m even more delighted (if that’s possible) that also on the shortlist is one of my favourite novels of the year, ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’ by Gail Honeyman. It won the Costa First Novel Award, and Book of the Year at the British Book Awards, so it’s no surprise that the film rights were snapped up – and by Reese Witherspoon, no less.


Also on the shortlist is ‘A Boy Made of Blocks’ by Guardian journalist Keith Stuart, which is about a couple going through a difficult time in their relationship. They have a child with autism who loves playing Minecraft. It’s a very moving read and was selected for the Richard and Judy Book Club.


The other two debut titles on the list are ‘Montpelier Parade’ by Irish writer Karl Geary, a short novel set in Dublin and written in the second person, and ‘The Pinocchio Brief’ by Abi Silver, which is a riveting courtroom drama with a difference. I hadn’t read either book before they appeared on the shortlist but I have now and I really enjoyed them both.


Only one novel can win, of course, and the winner will be chosen by the residents of Waverton in Cheshire on Tuesday, 26th June. But having ‘Not Thomas’ rub shoulders with such illustrious company on the shortlist is winning enough for me, no matter which title takes home the award.

Sara’s debut novel ‘Not Thomas’ – a story of child neglect, love and hope, shown through the eyes of five-year-old Tomos – is published by Honno Press in paperback and as an e-book, and is available to buy direct from the publisher, from Amazon and from bookshops.