Book review: Ruth and Pen: A Novel – Warm and engaging debut with plenty of depth

After an acclaimed collection of essays, Emilie Pine dips her toe into fiction for the first time with impressive results

Emilie Pine: stripped-back prose and nuanced characters make for a fine debut. Picture: Fergal Phillips

Emilie Pine’s 2018 essay collection, Notes To Self, was a huge commercial and critical success – deservedly so. Plainly yet beautifully written, the essays got to the heart of what it means to be a woman in contemporary Ireland.

The essays were very personal – considering Pine’s relationship with her alcoholic father; her wild teenage years in London and the abuse she suffered there at the hands of older men; the pain of years spent ...