#TFBookClub reads ‘Future Popes of Ireland’ set in IRELAND

20th April 2019

#TFBookClub May/June 2019

Our latest #TFBookClub outing takes us on a whimsical pilgrimage to IRELAND with Future Popes of Ireland by Darragh Martin.

‘A big-hearted, funny and sad novel about the messiness of love, family and belief’


In 1979 Bridget Doyle has one goal left in life: for her family to produce the very first Irish pope. Fired up by John Paul II’s appearance in Phoenix Park, she sprinkles Papal-blessed holy water on the marital bed of her son and daughter-in-law, and leaves them to get on with things. But nine months later her daughter-in-law dies in childbirth and Granny Doyle is left bringing up four grandchildren: five-year-old Peg, and baby triplets Damien, Rosie and John Paul.

Thirty years later, it seems unlikely any of Granny Doyle’s grandchildren are going to fulfil her hopes. Damien is trying to work up the courage to tell her that he’s gay. Rosie is a dreamy blue-haired rebel who wants to save the planet and has little time for popes. And irrepressible John Paul is a chancer and a charmer and the undisputed apple of his Granny’s eye – but he’s not exactly what you’d call Pontiff material.

None of the triplets have much contact with their big sister Peg, who lives over 3,000 miles away in New York City, and has been a forbidden topic of conversation ever since she ran away from home as a teenager. But that’s about to change.

‘Think Zadie Smith. But much funnier’ – Sunday Independent

‘Very moving, highly entertaining, clever and funny’ – Sunday Times (Ireland)

‘Bulging, big-hearted, a pleasure to read’ – Irish Times

Apply for a copy to read along:

If you would like to apply for a copy to read along with us during May and early June 2019, just leave a COMMENT below and tell us whether you prefer PAPER (UK only) or DIGITAL for world readers (via Netgalley) or EITHER – by midnight 30th April 2019. The first names out of the hat on Wednesday 1st May 2019 will be sent copies of the book. After that we can all start turning the pages and share our thoughts over the subsequent weeks.

We will be in touch at the beginning of May if you are one of our lucky readers! Don’t forget, applications close midnight, 30th April 2019!

Our first thirteen outings for the #TFBookClub have seen us travel the world, seeing different locations through the eyes of authors:

  • We have so far been #OnLiteraryLocation in SARDINIA with Rosanna Ley’s The Little Theatre By The Sea 
  • We have explored the sense of history in PRAGUE, reading Prague Nights by Benjamin Black
  • We have been on a real adventure to CENTRAL AMERICA with Maile Meloy’s Do Not Become Alarmed 
  • We have been immersed in an intense relationship between two female writers in Exquisite by Sarah Stovell, set in NORTHUMBERLAND and the LAKE DISTRICT,
  • We have met Harriet Steel’s Inspector de Silva in 1930s CEYLON (now SRI LANKA), experiencing Trouble in Nuala
  • We have time-travelled to exotic GRANADA in historic ANDALUCIA SPAIN with Jane Johnson’s Court of Lions
  • We have dived into the beautiful CYCLADES in GREECE with Hannah Fielding’s Aphrodite’s Tears
  • We have returned to CEYLON (now SRI LANKA) with The Sapphire Widow by Dinah Jefferies
  • We have gone west to CORNWALL with One Cornish Summer by Liz Fenwick
  • We travelled to NORWAYSCOTLAND and FRANCE with The Sixteen Trees of the Somme by Lars Mytting 
  • We were in wintry WALES with dark crime thriller Halfway by B. E. Jones
  • We endured a bitter winter and murder in SWEDEN with Red Snow, another Tuva Moodyson Mystery from author Will Dean
  • And most recently we have toured the artistic world – to LONDONNEW YORK CITYROME & the SOUTH OF FRANCE – with The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman.

Andrew and Tina for the TripFiction team

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  1. User: julier

    Posted on: 07/05/2019 at 10:42 am

    Would love either paper or digital please.


  2. User: Jane Willis

    Posted on: 30/04/2019 at 6:07 am

    a paper copy please


  3. User: Paula Courtney

    Posted on: 29/04/2019 at 6:09 pm

    Digital please


  4. User: Angi

    Posted on: 27/04/2019 at 11:59 am

    Paper please! Sounds like a giggle and I’m just ready for one of those.


  5. User: Kylie Walker

    Posted on: 25/04/2019 at 12:57 am

    Digital copy please


  6. User: LisaRowsell

    Posted on: 23/04/2019 at 3:57 pm

    Paper copy please.


  7. User: Lesley

    Posted on: 23/04/2019 at 12:43 pm

    This sounds to be a good read. Tears and laughter I think. I would love a Paper Copy please.


  8. User: Louise Page

    Posted on: 22/04/2019 at 8:55 pm

    Sounds like a fabulous read. I would love to receive a paper copy please, if chosen.


  9. User: Sarah Clapton

    Posted on: 22/04/2019 at 6:41 am

    Paper please


  10. User: Harriet Steel

    Posted on: 21/04/2019 at 3:21 pm

    This sounds fun. I’d love a paper copy please.


  11. User: Linda Rumsey

    Posted on: 21/04/2019 at 7:46 am

    Paper please. This sounds different to my usual type of book.


  12. User: Val Hall

    Posted on: 20/04/2019 at 6:51 pm

    Ooh.. and a paper copy please!


  13. User: Val Hall

    Posted on: 20/04/2019 at 6:50 pm

    Sounds grand and better than an episode of Mrs Brown any day!


  14. User: Sara Hill

    Posted on: 20/04/2019 at 6:26 pm

    I have only been to Ireland once but loved it, I would really like to read a paper copy of this book,


  15. User: Sarah Boyce

    Posted on: 20/04/2019 at 5:25 pm

    I’d love to read this! Sarah 🙂


  16. User: Claire Harris

    Posted on: 20/04/2019 at 5:18 pm

    Paper please, unless digital will go on an old Kindle? If so, either would be great!
    It sounds a really intriguing book!


  17. User: Andrea Hedgcock

    Posted on: 20/04/2019 at 5:01 pm

    Paper please. This sounds intriguing!


  18. User: Claire Broomsgrove

    Posted on: 20/04/2019 at 4:53 pm

    Paper copy please. Sounds like a fun read.


  19. User: Janine Phillips

    Posted on: 20/04/2019 at 4:48 pm

    I’d love a paper copy please x


Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021