Nina Hardy has been murdered. She died in the house where she grew up, killed by George, her childhood friend. But her body is never found, and she remains, a silent shade, watching the events of her own afterlife. Her half-brother Gregory makes a pilgrimage home to bury her, after some thirty years away. There he finds Janie, George's sister and fourth member of their child-hood gang. Together they relive their shared history, as they struggle to make sense of Nina's death, and the people they all became. This is a story of imaginary friends and hayrides, of plays and school dances, of a seemingly idyllic child-hood in a new 'Mozambique', the mudflats of the river Boyne. But the outside world cannot be kept at bay, and the fragile balance of their friendships is soon interrupted. Ultimately they will be torn apart by the outbreak of war, brought together again only to find that each has changed almost beyond recognition. Shade is at once an unforgettable portrait of childhood, a powerful story of love in its many forms, and a moving tragedy of lost innocence. Written with astonishing insight and perception, it confirms Neil Jordan as one of the most mesmerizing voices in contemporary fiction.