Published Jun 2013
Finbarr and Manus are young orphans who are taken under the protection of the eccentric Mr Collopy (whose chief occupation is the extravagant discussion of the state of the world) and into his household, where they grow up with good whiskey and bad cooking. Life in Dublin at the turn of the twentieth-century is hard, poverty and squalor are common while public toilets for ladies are less frequent. Manus proves to be a business genius, from organising correspondence courses in walking the tightrope to his creation of a cure for arthritis. When Mr Collopy s health is endangered by this cure they embark on a pilgrimage to Rome, to meet Pope Pius X, where a miracle is the least to be expected.