How to Build a Boat
Longlisted for the 2023 Booker Prize • Shortlisted for the 2023 An Post Irish Book Awards Novel of the Year • One of the Globe and Mail's "Sixty-Two Books to Read This Fall"
Jamie O'Neill loves the colour red. He also loves tall trees, patterns, rain that comes with wind, the curvature of certain objects, books with dust jackets, rivers, cats, and Edgar Allan Poe. At age thirteen, there are two things he wants most in life: to build a Perpetual Motion Machine, and to connect with his mother, Noelle, who died when he was born. In his mind, these things are intimately linked, and at his new school, despite the daily barrage of bullies and cathedral bells, he meets two teachers who might be able to help him, though each struggles against inertias of their own.
How to Build a Boat is the story of how one boy’s irrepressible dream finds expression through a community propelled by love out of grief. Lyrical and compassionate, it's a novel about the courage of conviction and the power of the imagination to transform—and how sometimes the best way to break free of old walls is to build something beautiful within them.