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Gifted teenager Maeve Hogan is an outsider in her own family. She is the clever one: studious, hard-working and destined for good things.


When her sister has a baby with Big, an abusive small-time criminal, she fears the worst for the child’s upbringing. While Maeve’s mother is content to go along with the charade of happy families, her brother Cian seems too busy trying to figure out his sexual orientation to care.


Frustrated, Maeve decides to take drastic action alone to remedy the situation. But sometimes people can be too clever for their own good. Her plan goes badly awry, with disastrous consequences.


In the aftermath, Maeve struggles to come to terms with the fallout
– and the guilt.


The Clever One is a bravely written novel which explores the boundaries of love and loyalty, and the lengths we are prepared
to go to in protecting them.

Reviews

'A remarkable book that expands the frontiers of Irish popular fiction' (The Cut of Love)
Irish Times
A fantastic book, both heart-wrenching and rewarding at the same time
RTE Guide
A realistic, painful story that has moments of great tenderness
Irish Independent
'Bravely written, raw, funny, at times politically incorrect but always captivating, The Clever One explores the boundaries of love, loyalty, family ties and the lengths we're prepared to go to in protecting them. In Maeve, Helena Close has not only created an extraordinary heroine but also a credible one. An impressive, relevant and entertaining read.'
Irish Independent