Cushla Lavery is a twenty -four year old elementary school parochial teacher in northern Ireland during the Troubles. Her brother runs the family bar, where Cushla helps out during the evenings. Their mother isn’t well and struggles with alcoholism, and her father is dead, so Cushla doesn’t have much in the way of a loving family life. Small wonder that she falls in love with a much older married man, Michael, whom she meets at the bar. He is a Protestant lawyer, but takes cases on both sides. When a local man is beaten almost to death by local British soldiers, Cushla takes his youngest son and a pupil of hers under her wing, and befriends the family, which ultimately places her in jeopardy. Trespasses is a sober account of life during the Troubles, where the brutal conflict between the English loyalists and Irish Catholics led to a daily life of bombings, sniper attacks, street fights, roadblocks and internments without trial. It was a violent time that lasted for three decades, from 1968 – 1998, and Louise Kennedy provides a glimpse into daily life for those caught in the crossfire.

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