Fintan Buckley is a pleasant, rather conventional and unimaginative man, who works as a legal adviser in an import/export firm in Dublin. He lives in Howth and is married to Colette. They have two sons who are at university, and a small daughter.
As he goes about his life, working and spending time with his family, Fintan begins to experience states of altered consciousness and auditory hallucinations, which seem to take him out of a linear experience of time. He becomes interested in how we remember or imagine the past, an interest trigged by becoming aware of early photography, particularly early colour photography. He also finds himself thinking more about his own past, including time spent holidaying in the north of Ireland as a child with his father's family. Over the years he has become distanced from them, and in the course of the novel this link is re-established and helps to bring him understanding and peace, although in a most unexpected way.
Time Present and Time Past, Deirdre Madden's eighth novel for adults, is about time: about how not just daily life and one's own, or one's family's past, intersect with each othe