What better place to end a torrid, years-long extramarital affair than Coney Island in the winter, a neglected landscape of forgotten amusements, tinged with the residue of warmer days? In “My Coney Island Baby” by Billy O’Callaghan, on sale now from Harper Collins, the abandoned boardwalk is repurposed as the setting for a bittersweet breakup.
Each month for the past 25 years, Michael and Caitlin have met in Coney Island for a weekend escape from the mundanity of their lives. This winter weekend may be their last, with Michael’s wife battling cancer and Caitlin’s husband on the cusp of a promotion that will take them far away to the Midwest. Now the middle-aged lovers must face reality, weigh the consequences and decide what their futures will hold.
Billy O’Callaghan is the author of three short story collections, including “The Things We Leave Behind,” which received the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Award. He lives in Cork, Ireland.