We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

Paperback / ISBN-13: 9781444794106

Price: £12.99

Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.

Dublin, 1965. A city on the cusp of change. A country preparing to commemorate the 1916 Rising.
Maria Mills arrives from London with only a suitcase and her young daughter. Scared but hopeful, she is intent on a new life, one in which she can hide from her past. She has carefully constructed a story, based on a lie that even her daughter believes is true.

When she gets a job in the fledgling broadcaster Telifis Eireann, she finds herself working on a 1916 Rising commemoration programme. Maria meets Tess McDermott, a former member of Cumann na mBan, the Irish republican women’s paramilitary group. Tess saw active service in the Rising yet angrily refuses to admit her involvement. Maria realises that Tess too is hiding a secret that must be told.

Set against the backdrop of stifling social and religious mores, alongside a defiant new wave of women’s liberation, What Becomes of Us is a beautifully told story of the struggle to carve out a new identity when the past refuses to let go. And for one young mother and widow, who has caught a fleeting glimpse of what her life, and love, might one day be, the past lurks closer than she knows.

What's Inside

Read More Read Less


A thoughtful, poignant and insightful novel ... there's a hint of Binchy in McKervey's ability to tell a complex, entertaining story with intelligence and wit
Irish Times
A beautifully written account of a time when women, still subjugated, were determined to fight for their rights. It's also a story of friendship, neighbourliness, what family really means, and where it can be found ... All of the characters are superbly drawn
Irish Examiner
An impressive debut ... There is plenty to admire and contemplate in this enjoyable portrait of Ireland's many-layered past
Sunday Business Post
An assured debut
RTE Guide
A timely debut ... [What Becomes of Us] features strong women, is culturally topical and it explores a fascinating era for women's lives both in the past and the novel's present
Sinead Gleeson, Image magazine
A fascinating read that deals with big questions about female activism and solidarity ... McKervey's lean writing, light historical touch and engaging narrative never falter, and this impressive debut marks the writer out as a talent able to tell a complex story with intelligence and humour
Sunday Times
Engaging ... This is an atmospheric debut and the writing is crisp
Sunday Independent