Based on a play of the same name, this novel tells the story of Jack O'Brien’s odyssey from inexperienced childhood to mature manhood. Jack’s father, Seán, left the family in County Tyrone to find work as a collier in the South Wales Valleys. Years later, Jack’s dying mother sends him on a quest to find out what became of his father. Seán’s last letter came from the town of Aberuffern, which becomes the novel’s central motif. Lively, blackly humorous, and intelligent, this book is enhanced by a series of 20 woodcuts created by the author.