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Flora’s father has been killed in the Battle of El Alamein, one of the many victims of the Second World War. For Flora and her mother, life will never be the same again. At least they have their memories, of the love he showed them, the Desert Lullaby that he sang, the legacy of the well-stocked wine cellar lurking beneath their cavernous home.

Now, it’s just Flora – and Nellie, the family’s life-long housekeeper – left; to reminisce in old age, to float and drift over the joys, losses and mysteries of childhood. Flora’s brother, Eddie, is also gone. Who, now, will believe the story of the grey silk dress, and of what really happened between Eddie and Flora at the end of that long Irish summer?

Intimate, elegiac and profoundly moving, Naming the Stars is an exquisite story of love, loss and memory from one of Ireland’s best-loved writers.


Wonderful, evocative and at times chilling
Dermot Bolger
Beloved Irish author Jennifer has written a stunning story of love, loss and memory
Irish Country Magazine
Pen and prose as sharp and as poetic as ever... Johnston's typical grace and fluidity
Sunday Independent