The MYSTERIOUS DEATH of a PARISH PRIEST at a party is the subject of RACHAEL ENGLISH‘s latest novel The Night of the Party. She recalls some memorable summer parties …
“When I think of the perfect party, I think of heat. The sort of heat that wafts around your legs and makes your hair curl. The sort of heat that dips slowly into a still night where everyone wears T-shirts or strappy dresses. Where you can kick off your sandals and savour the feeling of grass against your toes. No goosebumps or patio-heaters or calls of, “Isn’t it time we went inside?”
I’ve known those nights in Ireland, but not many of them. The snapshots I offer are from other, warmer, countries and climates. None of the gatherings was especially glamorous, but they’ve all lodged in my brain.
I remember a night at the end of the 2004 Athens Olympics when a group of us sat and drank beer on our hotel roof. On one side, the skyline was dominated by the Parthenon. On the other, traffic snaked past the remains of the Temple of Zeus.
Then there was the party my husband and I came across in Dubrovnik. Croatia were playing Brazil in the World Cup, the evening so warm a bar owner had brought his television outside and placed it on a wall. About 40 of us pulled up chairs and watched. At half-time, pizzas arrived from a local restaurant. Brazil won but I scarcely remember the match, just the joy of being there.
Rachael English’s new novel, The Night of the Party, (Hachette Ireland) €16.99, is out now.
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