'Mothers and Sons' is a sensitive and beautifully written meditation on the dramas surrounding this most elemental of relationships. Each of the nine stories focuses on a moment in which an unspoken balance shifts; in which a mother or son do battle, or experience a sudden crisis, thus leaving their conception of who they are subtly or seriously altered. A son buries his mother and goes out to a drug-fuelled rave on a remote beach near Dublin. A mother sings about treacherous love to a rapt crowd of musicians in a local pub. Her unacknowledged son meets her eyes, unable to approach her. And in "A Long Winter", Colm Tibn's finest piece of fiction to date, a son goes searching for his mother in the snow-covered Pyrenees.