“The Fourth Island is an absolute gem of a story, full of wonder, melancholy and no little wisdom.” ―Peadar Ó Guilín
Dark, mournful, and beautiful, Sarah Tolmie's The Fourth Island is a moving and unforgettable story of life and death on the hidden Irish island of Inis Caillte.
Huddled in the sea off the coast of Ireland is a fourth Aran Island, a secret island peopled by the lost, findable only in moments of despair. Whether drowned at sea, trampled by Cromwell's soldiers, or exiled for clinging to the dead, no outsiders reach the island without giving in to dark emotion.
Time and again, The Fourth Island weaves a hypnotic pattern with its prose, presaging doom before walking back through the sweet and sour moments of lives not yet lost. It beautifully melds the certainty of loss with the joys of living, drawing readers under like the tide.
“The Fourth Island is both beguiling and unsettling, both mythic and earthy. A truly memorable story, beautifully crafted.”
―Juliet Marillier, author of the Warrior Bards series
Sarah Tolmie is a poet, speculative fiction writer, a finalist for the Crawford Award, and professor of English at the University of Waterloo. Her books of poetry, Trio in 2015 and The Art of Dying in 2018, both with McGill-Queen’s University Press, were shortlisted for the Pat Lowther Award and the Griffin Prize, respectively. Her fiction, published with Aqueduct Press, includes the novels The Little Animals (2019) and The Stone Boatmen (2014), the dual novella collection Two Travelers (2016), and the short fiction collection NoFood (2014).