Book of the Month: Days Without End

Days without End

Sebastian Barry's award-winning novel is a violent and heart-wrenching portrayal of two soldiers caught up in the Indian wars and American Civil War in the 1800s.

About the book

After signing up for the US army in the 1850s,Thomas McNulty and his brother-in-arms, John Cole, go on to fight in the Indian Wars and, ultimately, the American Civil War.

Having fled terrible hardships they find these days to be vivid and filled with wonder, despite the horrors they both see and are complicit in. Their lives are further enriched when a young Indian girl crosses their path, and the possibility of lasting happiness emerges.

Moving from the plains of the West to Tennessee, Sebastian Barry's latest work is a masterpiece of atmosphere and language. Both an intensely poignant story of two men and the lives they are dealt, and a fresh look at some of the most fateful years in America's past, Days Without End is a novel that's hard to forget.

What Mumsnetters say:

“Can completely see why this one made the Booker longlist. A beautifully crafted tale, an unexpected love story set against the backdrop of the 1800s Indian Wars, and American Civil War.”

“I really enjoyed this. I did find the narrator's Huck Finn-esque voice jarred a bit, and twice I lost the thread of the narrative (and wasn't completely clear even on rereading). But overall, it was really well done.”

About the author

Sebastian Barry was born in Dublin in 1955. His novels and plays have won the Costa Book of the Year Award, the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Prize, the Irish Book Awards Novel of the Year, the Independent Booksellers Prize and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. He also had two consecutive novels, A Long Long Way (2005) and the top ten bestseller The Secret Scripture (2008), shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Days Without End won the Costa Book Award 2016 and the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction. He lives in County Wicklow.

sebastian barry


Sebastian Barry will be joining us to discuss Days Without End during a webchat in November (date tbc)


We have 50 copies of Days Without End to giveaway. Enter below before midday Friday 6th October for your chance to win and join the discussion