A cloud in her eye
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Rae and her sister, Alina, are young women who have travelled from Australia to visit their aunt, Trudy, in Ireland. Rae’s suspicions that something is amiss with the arrangement are confirmed when they discover that their parents have been arrested for settling in Australia without the appropriate visas. The two young women, who are half Irish, must remain in Ireland until their parents are able to join them. Rae enrols at a university to continue her studies, and Alina finds a job that requires her to move out. Rae is upset with Alina for leaving, and drops out of contact for a while, but then when she does reach out, her messages aren’t returned. Eventually she goes in search of her sister and finds that Alina has left Dublin without saying where she went. Months pass in fruitless searching. Rae settles down at Trinity College, makes friends, and also befriends Joe, a rough sleeper on the Dublin streets. When she discovers that her sister might be in Galway, Rae travels there, accompanied by two friends. Joe offers to aid them. While there, they encounter someone who claims to know Alina, but demands payment before revealing anything. Rae asks Joe – who is familiar with the backstreets – to deliver the cash. Joe is never seen again, and Rae, after some time, finally admits she has been betrayed. One of her two friends decides to explore the clubs and stumbles on Alina who is working there. When Rae approaches her sister, there is a confrontation with the possessive employer, Murphy, who strikes Alina, putting her in hospital. Alina returns to Dublin, and life resumes where it left off, but then Murphy attempts to take Alina back. Rae hurries home and finds Trudy blocking the door to the house with a shotgun which she fires at Murphy’s knee. The demonstration of protectiveness shows Rae how badly she misjudged her aunt. She then discovers that she misjudged Davin, whom she admired from the beginning but incorrectly assumed he was interested in her sister. The novella ends with a recognition of her flawed perceptions which stands in juxtaposition to her confident judgements of people in the opening chapter.