THE RAPTURES explores how tragedy can unite a small community – and tear it apart – with the extraordinary resilience of a young girl at its heart.
It is late June in Ballylack. Hannah Adger anticipates eight long weeks’ reprieve from school, but when her classmate Ross succumbs to a violent and mysterious illness, it marks the beginning of a summer like no other. As others fall ill, questions about what – or who – is responsible pitch the village into conflict and fearful disarray. Hannah is haunted by guilt as she remains healthy while her friends are struck down. Isolated and afraid, she prays for help. Elsewhere in the village, tempers simmer, panic escalates and long-buried secrets threaten to emerge.
As the world crumbles around her, she must find the courage to be different in a place where conforming feels like the only option available.
Jan Carson is a writer and community arts facilitator based in East Belfast. Her novel The Fire Starters won the EU Price for Literary for Ireland in 2019, and her short stories have been shortlisted for the Sean O’Faolain Short Story Prize, the BBC National Short Story Prize, An Post Irish Short Story of the Year Award, and in 2016 won the Harper’s Bazaar Short Story Prize. The Fire Starters is in development with Element Pictures. The Raptures is her third novel and was published by Doubleday in January 2022. Jan is represented by Kate Johnson at Wolf Literary Services.