Phyl Herbert

The Price Of Desire

ISBN: 9781851321438

For a debut collection these stories manifest remarkable maturity. It is not that the author has assumed the storyteller’s mantle later in life, nor that her characters are illuminated from a similar vantage point, but rather that she seems to arrive fully fledged and in command of her craft, fully versed in the wisdom and endowed with the experience of her forerunners. The city of Dublin and her people are the raw material from which Herbert fashions her stories. Her observing eye is accurate and unsentimental, but conditioned by a loving attachment. Her older citizens demonstrate a refreshing flamboyance. Phyl Herbert and her array of colourful characters are a welcome arrival in the field of the Irish short story.

– Jack Harte

Phyl Herbert writes in a beautifully clear, fluent style. Her stories are delicately constructed miniatures, tender glimpses into the lives of her often flawed characters as they make the best of their way through life.

Dublin Review of Books

In The Price of Desire, Phyl Herbert’s debut collection, twin sisters share an uneasy reunion in a spa hotel, secrets bubbling between them; an ageing farmer wakes to an empty day, filled only with the sour legacy of betrayal; a young woman makes a startling bid for freedom, Freddie Mercury’s golden voice ringing in her ears; and released from the stark monochrome world of a Mother and Baby Home, a former nun chooses a new beginning bursting with colour and pulsating to the rhythm of the tango.