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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Romance

A new arrival in a small Irish town stirs up unexpected feelings in seventeen-year-old Micheál.

*'Coimhthíoch' is the Irish word for stranger/outsider/foreigner
**Also, this is a LGBTQ+ story, and I won't tolerate any negative comments regarding that. Do not read if it's not your cup of tea.

Table of Contents

An Odd Sort

I've added translations in the icomments whenever there's an * and also have a glossary at the end for the same words, so let me know which is handier. If there are any other words/phrases you'd
like clarified, or if you think the glossary isn't necessary, feel free to say :)
Read Chapter

A Lost Cause

Glossary at the end for words with * following them/in blue icomments. Also, no idea why it keeps happening, but the font keeps changing and lines are being cut off at random, so let me know if
it's doing that again.
Read Chapter

A Priest, A Shopkeeper and One Beleaguered Boy

Translations / additional info on words can be found at the blue *, as well as at the glossary at the end. Some of the lines randomly change font/cut off (I think it might be to do with the * /
non-English words?), so if there's any of that happening again, please let me know :)
Read Chapter

Dawid's Friend

Translations can be found at the blue * and at the bottom of the chapter.
Read Chapter

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Recent Comments


You paint a very vivid picture of such places, where everyone knows everyone's business. It makes a pleasant change to see Irish used - I think a lot of people will be stumbling over the pronunciation.
Looking forward to reading more.

Fri, September 11th, 2020 10:17am


Thanks so much for the comment! Nice to get a fellow Irelander's view on it xD Do you mind my asking if it's the names' pronunciation that might cause confusion, or the Irish words/sentences? I feel it's quite important to keep the Irish names instead of anglicising them, but I could probably cut down on the Irish words a little more if it's making a mess of things. Thanks again!

Fri, September 11th, 2020 3:22am


I have to say I really enjoyed this first chapter! Your descriptions of the scenery were so vivid, it was like watching a movie in my head lol. I really loved Micheal's character and am definitely looking forward to reading on. Great job! :)

Fri, September 11th, 2020 7:32pm


Thank you! I hope to have the next chapter up soon enough; I'm glad you enjoyed it :)

Sat, September 12th, 2020 7:35am


You do a great job introducing the characters and setting, and I simultaneously loved all the detail and felt it was very expository. Obviously, it's the first chapter where much of a novel's framework is laid, but a character's entire backstory doesn't need to be told right away for a reader to understand said character. The mystery of who the character is and what problem they'll face is part of what hooks the reader in--at least for me it is--so you want to give the reader a reason to want to learn more about the character(s) first and then slowly feed out information throughout the novel. I'm only saying all of this because you do a fantastic job of capturing the essences of the characters in their interactions like with Maire (sorry can't figure out how to put an accent) busting into the house to complain about the "new arrival" or the quick comment about Micheal's mom being a promoter of the Irish language and then backing that up by her continually slipping it into conversation. Speaking of the Irish phrases, they add a lot to the atmosphere and give a sense of authenticity to the setting, but I won't deny that the glossary at the end is very beneficial (maybe consider adding an asterisk to those phrases like you would for a footnote? I've seen it done before and be helpful.). Okay, so this is way longer than I intended it to be, sorry about that. This is really well written without grammatical errors as far as I could tell, and I can't wait to see what's next for Micheal!

Sun, September 13th, 2020 2:33pm


Thank you so much! This is exactly the kind of review I needed to hear :) I've been having a bit of trouble keeping the detail to a minimum - I'm not quite finished the story yet, so I'm not 100% sure what's necessary and what's extraneous; I'll have to get the ol' weed wacker out during the editing stages xD Glad you enjoyed Máire's dramatics - my nanny does that all the time, barging into the house yelling 'you wouldn't believe what I'm just after hearing!'
Thanks for the input about the Irish, too; I'm getting mixed messages about it, so any input is appreciated.
This review was really helpful; thanks for going into such depth about it all :)

Sun, September 13th, 2020 8:41am

A. K.Taylor

HI smircle, I have to say I enjoyed reading this even though I'm not an Irish native. So, I couldn't follow it when the language is used so much. But for the overall context, it had a good flow and your characterisation seems spot on.

You managed to capture the tone of the mood between everyone and conveyed a level of intrigue that made me want to read a bit more, but not being privy to the language I'm afraid I'd have to pass. I would loose too much context, having to constantly stop to figure out what is being said. This work is going to have a niche market that is more agreeable to Irish speaking individuals.

I pointed out a few spots that might need some attention. I realize that their are differences in how your country writes verses mine, so I held back on doing too many mark ups.

It's a good write, though. There's a definite and concise direction the story has that makes it want to be read. And I didn't see much that needed to be done structurally to make it better.

Wed, September 16th, 2020 4:49pm


Thank you for your honesty. Do you mind my asking if it's the literal Irish words that ruined it for you, or more so the colloquialisms? It's the first story I've written that's set in Ireland, so I'm having trouble reining it all in xD Thank you for the rest of your comment; I really appreciate your input as a non-Irish native :)

Wed, September 16th, 2020 10:18am

CJ Spuddz

I’ve always liked LGBT stories as well the wit of Irish literature, (my favorite author grew up in Limerick actually), so I will say I DID have high expectations going into this book. However, Coimhthíoch fell nothing short of my expectations. Micheál seems like a very interesting lad, and you really make us wonder how this will turn out for him.
To give a more English teacher type critique if you will, you use some excellent stylistic devices in your prose. I especially love the repetition of words in some of the paragraphs (that really stir up Micheál’s feelings.) Additionally, I like the way you throw in the Gaelic words- it really reflects the setting and really gives a flavor to the prose of this book. The glossary at the end is great too. I look forward to reading more!!

Thu, September 17th, 2020 7:34pm


Ah, thank you! I'm really glad you liked the Irish in it, I've been getting mixed messages about that xD Cheers for reading, hope you enjoy the rest of it :)

Fri, September 18th, 2020 3:37pm


I personally really enjoyed the use of the Irish language in the story, particularly because Micheál's mother is so passionate about it. I know very little about Gaelic and I did have to refer to the glossary a couple times, but for the most part, I felt the language was incorporated into the story naturally and in a way that the meaning could be inferred. I noticed a couple people have commented on how having to scroll down to the definitions took them out of the story. I didn't find that to be the case, but if you really wanted to, you could go through the story after you'd published it and add the definitions of the Irish words as icomments. That way, people could just click on the word to see the translation. That would be a lot of extra work for you (especially because you wouldn't be able to copy-paste and would have to type them all out individually), and some people might find that the icomments all over the story look messy (although there is an option to turn off icomments for those who don't like looking at them), so feel free to ignore this! Just an idea, Booksie definitely isn't formatted to make writing this sort of thing easy, so I thought I'd throw out a suggestion.

Anyways, on to the story! As I said, I really liked how you incorporated Irish into the story. That struck me as very real and believable because it's something I've seen play out in many of my friends' lives—the parent who's passionate about preserving and using a cultural language vs. the parent who would rather just speak the common language vs. the child who is proud of their heritage but doesn't want to stick out. I guess that sort of thing is universal! I also really loved Máire's antics. Her interactions with the family were absolutely hilarious—what a personality! I can tell this is definitely going to be a character-driven novel, and you've already done a great job of creating people that feel very real and distinct from one another.

As someone else noted, there is a lot of exposition and backstory in this, which I'm not entirely convinced is a bad thing. On the one hand, it can feel like info-dumping, but on the other, I also got a very clear idea of the setting (which is extremely different from where I live!). I think it ultimately depends on how well this first chapter matches the rest of the book—if the rest of the story has a similarly meandering, slightly dreamy tone, then this chapter is fine. If the rest of the book is a bit more action-y or plot-based, then maybe some of the backstory and description here can get trimmed or moved around so we don't get all the exposition at once. One thing I will say is you have a very lovely writing style! It's flows nicely and has an almost poetic feel—definitely the kind of story you want to take your time reading.

You almost have three different time periods going on here—the present, with Máire busting in and Micheál taking out the trash, etc, the past, with Micheál contemplating his childhood and how his treatment by the community differs from his father's, and the future (sort of), with Micheál looking back on this part of the story after events from later in the book have occurred. Towards the end of the chapter, I found the switch a bit difficult to track. But I'm not generally a fan of the "later, he would look back on this and think _____" device (not that it's bad—I just have all the patience of a three-year-old child, I want to hear what happens later NOW, haha), so this could very possibly be a "just me" thing.

I did feel Micheál maybe wasn't as curious or confused about "the new lad" as he should have been. From Máire's reaction, this is clearly an occurrence of earth-shattering significance (lol), so I was a little surprised that he immediately seemed to understand what was going on. But it's still early and we're still getting to know his personality, so obviously take or leave!

Oh, and I absolutely love all of Micheál's mother's seanfhocals! They definitely gave me a good idea of her personality (so far, I'm really liking her character—she seems like a fantastic balance of kind and passionate, and I'm curious to see more of her relationship with her family) and the culture that Micheál has grown up in. I feel like the kinds of sayings (or clichés or dichos or whatever you want to call them) that people repeat and internalize are very telling, so I really liked how Micheál kept thinking about them.

All in all, I really enjoyed this, and I will happily continue reading! I like your writing style a lot, I'm interested in all of the characters, and I'm eager to see where it goes. :)

Sat, September 19th, 2020 12:24am


I can't thank you enough for this comment! I'm glad the Irish worked for you; I've been getting mixed messages about it xD I was thinking about using the icomments for that - I personally dislike them and find them a bit messy, but I think I'll give it a whirl and see if it makes it any easy for the readers; thanks for the tip!
I know what you mean about the tenses - they were doing my head in when I was writing it xD A few years ago, I wrote a story with a similar narrative and I really liked it, but that story was in the first person, so it was a little easier to follow than in the third ... Thanks for saying the "can't" threw you, I'll play around with it and see if it can be done another way.
You're the first person who's actually liked Máire! She's one of those characters you either like or don't, and I'm a little iffy with her myself at the moment xD
Micheál is a pretty interesting character to write - he's a little hard to get across at times, but I'll get the hang of him by the end of it (fingers crossed)!
I really, really appreciate this comment, and I'm so glad you enjoyed it! Thank you so much for reading :D

Sat, September 19th, 2020 9:32am


I really liked this, and I enjoyed the touch of all the Irish phrases and names and words. I didn't know what most of them meant, but I was quite happy not knowing exactly what they mean. If the right context is around it, it's easy to get the gist of it, and they really add a nice extra touch to the Irish setting. This stranger is going to be interesting. It's already set up well that they're going to make an impact, so I'm intrigued to see who they actually are and what's going to happen. I think you've got the start of a very promising novel.

Mon, September 21st, 2020 1:28am


Thank you! I'm glad you liked the Irish-ness and didn't find it too jarring. Cheers for the comment :)

Mon, September 21st, 2020 4:10pm


This is going to be a good read. Firstly, I found myself imagining the words being spoken in an Irish accent, something I've never experienced before lol. Secondly, your style and descriptions are very engaging. And thirdly, and perhaps most notably, I have this feeling I'm going to relate strongly to your protagonist. His feelings about how this person awakened feelings he never experienced before rings unexpectedly close to home. I haven't read a romance story in sometime, but this... I really hope this ends well lol. Well done

Thu, October 15th, 2020 5:22pm


Ah, thanks! Glad the inner Irish accent is coming out xD Hopefully the rest of it lives up to your expectations :)

Thu, October 22nd, 2020 10:24am

A. Rhetters


Alright, first of all, great work! I will say that some things confused me as I was reading, but then again, as someone from the United States/ an American, it is to be expected, haha! I do wonder if your audience is more directed towards both the UK and Ireland, which would make sense (like the GAA mention, and some slang I recognized that is typically in use in the UK).

I very much enjoyed your style of writing. It definitely gave me a sense of what I would find in a classical work of literature. However, I will say that you tend to really go heavy into the details and background information. I did have some sensory overload at times, and had to pause for a moment to process everything.

Because I was trying to keep track of the phrases and use context clues to understand them (didn't know there was a glossary at the bottom of the page), I found myself pausing often. I also think I may have lost some information in the process. This tended to happen with the "longer" phrases, such as the "Irish-isms"/ sayings.

Overall, I definitely see something to this story. I just wish that my brain could process things better, or that I was more educated on how things are in Ireland! Haha!

Nice work!
A. Rhetters

Fri, October 23rd, 2020 9:22pm

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