‘Myles Foley gripped my soaked jumper. Before his ship sank he was a Nazi: now he’s a drowning sailor. Out here, we are all sailors. Your father and grandfather understood that. Are you going to disgrace their memory?’ Part historical fiction, part extraordinary coming-of-age tale, The Lonely Sea and Sky charts the maiden voyage of fourteen-year-old Jack Roche aboard a tiny Wexford ship, the Kerlogue, on a treacherous wartime journey to Portugal. After his father’s ship is sunk on this same route, Jack must go to sea to support his family swapping Wexford’s small streets for Lisbon’s vibrant boulevards: where every foreigner seems to be a refugee or a spy, and where he falls under the spell of Katerina, a Czech girl surviving on her wits. Bolger’s new novel is based on a real-life rescue in 1943, when the Kerlogue’s crew risked their lives to save 168 drowning German sailors – members of the navy that had killed Jack’s father. Forced to choose who to save and who to leave behind, the Kerlogue grows so dangerously overloaded that no one knows if they will survive amid the massive Biscay waves. A brilliant portrayal of those unarmed Irish ships that sailed alone through hazardous waters; of young romance and a boy encountering a world where every experience is intense and dangerous, this is Bolger’s most spellbinding novel, and the work of a master storyteller who is one of Ireland’s best-known novelists, playwrights and poets.