The Heart of Everything & What Becomes Of Us

A contemporary story of three estranged siblings reluctantly forced back together to hunt for their vanished mother, The Heart of Everything was described as, ‘a wonderful, memorable book – a tour-de-force’ by Frank McGuinness.

‘Henrietta McKervey is brimming over with promise. She has wit, imagination, and an understanding of human beings, the hallmark of the true novelist.’ Éilís Ní Dhuibhne in her Irish Times review of The Heart of Everything, March 2016.  The review in the Sunday Business Post on May 1st commented, ‘There is an emotional truth and authentic irresolution to the novel that will satisfy even the most cynical reader… The Heart of Everything deserves to be a popular hit.’  Here I am talking about it with Jim Lockhart on Arena, RTE Radio 1 on March 24th.

It was May’s Irish Times Book Club Choice. During the month a series of articles and interviews (contributors included Professor Margaret Kelleher, Ivana Bacik, Kathleen MacMahon and Susan McKay) explored different aspects of the book, ending with a live podcast recording in the Irish Writers’ Centre on Thursday May 26th.

What Becomes of Us, set at the fiftieth anniversary of the 1916 Rising, is out now in paperback from Hachette. Here’s what they said about it…

“This impressive debut marks the writer out as a talent able to tell a complex story with intelligence and humour.” (Sunday Times)

“Beautifully written… simple spare style. A lovely, lovely novel… Henrietta McKervey: I would really be watching her.” (Cathy Kelly speaking on Today with Sean O’Rourke, RTE Radio 1)

“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)

“The novel shines with intelligence and emotional insight” (Eilis Ni Dhuibhne)

“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)

“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)

“Have just finished this book. I could not put it down. I found it gripping and very moving. I was particularly impressed with the account of climbing Nelson’s Pillar having done it myself when I was eleven!” (Amazon review by Gloria Carter) 

What Becomes Of Us was published by Hachette on April 2nd 2015 and is available in all good etc… (especially The Gutter Bookshop, where it was launched by Ivana Bacik).


6 thoughts on “The Heart of Everything & What Becomes Of Us

  1. Hi Henrietta: I’ve ordered your book and would love to know your process in getting published. I was born in Ireland but live in Newfoundland now and have 3 novels to go, one on 100 years of Irish history.
    If you could point me in any kind of direction I would so appreciate it 🙂
    Thank you!

    1. Hi there. Hope you like the book! Getting published definitely has an element of luck to it in my experience, as well as a lot of submitting! If your novels are timely in terms of centenary events in history (as mine is), then maybe check out publishers who have already published centenary-related fiction? It might give you a sense of who is looking out for historical fiction these days? Good luck with it all.

  2. Hi Henrietta,
    was only talking about you recently, and Jane Anne Murray! Remember our Mss Dynan days!!
    Dying to read you books!!

  3. I present a book Programme on our local community radio station here in Lucan and I wonder if you would be interested in being interviewed on Bookline which goes out on Sunday mornings 1100-1130

    I am a nurse recently retired who has worked with older people for many years with many folk suffering from dementia so have huge interest in your new book but Ialso enjoyed you previous one and reviewed it on Bookline

  4. Hi Henrietta,

    I am a friend of Andrea McCartney’s and we met while waiting for the coach to bring us to her wedding at The Premier Inn Belfast in August. We got talking and discovered that you used to work for Breastcheck,where I have worked for the past 15 years but that you were now a full time writer.

    I have now purchased and read both your novels and wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed them,especially The Heart Of Everything – I loved the character of Mags and was left wanting more at the end of the book. Will you be writing a sequel? If not,are you working on anything at the moment? As someone who has tried and failed to get published in the past,I have a great admiration for anyone who manages it. Congratulations on your success and I look forward to reading your future works.

    Best Wishes,

    Aideen Bosonnet

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