As the bombs rain down on the city, Belfast's first ever female zookeeper must fight to save the baby elephant in her charge in this gripping, uplifting tale based on a true story.
1941. With the men away fighting, animal-lover Hettie Quin is made Belfast Zoo's first ever female zookeeper. She is put in charge of Violet, a three-year-old Indian elephant, and they soon form a special bond. With Violet at her side, Hettie can almost escape the grim reality of her life: the father who has abandoned her family; the sister who recently died; the war that's raging hundreds of miles away.
But the devastation of war is closer than she thought. When the bombs begin to rain down on the city, Hettie must gather all her courage to protect those she loves the most. Can she save Violet - and get through unscathed herself?
Based on a true story, The Zookeeper of Belfast is a gripping and uplifting tribute to what one woman's courage and tenacity can achieve in the most dire of circumstances - perfect for fans of Heather Morris, Natasha Lester, Kate Furnivall, Mandy Robotham and Fiona Valpy.
Praise for THE ZOOKEEPER OF BELFAST:
'Walsh delivers a turbulent portrait of life in a divided city . . . A unique perspective of a country at war and the lengths people will go for those they love.' - Kirkus Reviews
'Sensitively rendered and finely drawn, this remarkable story, based on true events, is both uplifting and heartbreaking.' - Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train
'Walsh has written a novel of deep affection and knife-edge suspense. A brilliant debut.' - Margot Livesey, author of The Boy in The Field
'An elephant, a young zookeeper, the city of Belfast, bombings, and an IRA member are the improbable characters in this captivating and intimately felt novel that tells the story of a young woman's uncommon devotion and courage under fire.' - Lily Tuck, author of Sisters
'A zoo in wartime Belfast and a young woman's fierce love for the elephant in her care come vividly to life in this beautiful, beguiling, and atmospheric debut novel.' - Dominic Smith, author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos
*Cinematic in scope and brimming with emotion, this is a soaring work of historical imagination.' - Karen Olsson, author of All the Houses