One powerful novella, with two thematically linked short stories on either side of it, forms the basis of Everything in This Country Must. Although these are stories about Ireland and the Troubles, they have an almost mythical rather than a political feel. In the title story, four young soldiers help a farmer and his daughter free their horse from a stream in flood, unable to understand that their help will never be anything but an insult.
In the novella, Hunger Strike, a young boy and his mother flee to Galway as the boy’s uncle succumbs to a hunger strike in a Derry gaol. In Wood, a ten-year-old boy is asked by his mother to make poles for the marching season.