On to the fifth story in this anthology of fiction from Northern Ireland, and a trend may be emerging. People keep ending up in the countryside, closer to nature, away from the city. That's not necessarily a good thing, of course. For every bluebell, there is at least one malign spirit in those woods. But it may indicate (I'm no expert) a general sense that urban life in NI is something people in general dream of escaping from, to a greater extent even than in England.
Or I may be reading far too much into all this.
Jan Carson's story is certainly not one of pastoral escapism. But it is about a rural tradition, one of the oldest and most natural, yet also one that is deeply disturbing. A man drives out to the woods with his wife and their two small children. She is ill. She does not have very long. The wasting disease so common and so feared has left her so light he can easily carry her to the leaving place. Then he returns to the car, and finds he has made a mistake.