A big chunk of our lives is left to chance and if I say, Bill Furlong’s story is no different, it would be a lie. Serendipity or happenstance, however we like to label it, it cannot be denied that much of Bill’s childhood has been shaped and sculpted by fate. His mother could have ended up in one of the infamous Magdalen laundries of Ireland – institutions that under the guise of reforming ‘fallen women’ had incarcerated and brutalised them. Instead, she and Bill were taken in by Mrs Wilson, a Protestant widow for whom kindness didn’t come in short supply.
Despite his formative years being reliant on luck, I feel like his story arc ultimately boils down to one single line – “This road will take you wherever you want to go, son.” Claire Keegan’s Small Things Like These, starring Bill Furlong is a tale of how we take accountability of our lives’ trajectories, where we choose to go, and what we make of ourselves from the history lodged in our spines.
An emotional dichotomy
Bill has gobbled down all the opportunities that have come his way like they are the most delicious midnight snack. He is a coal merchant now, husband to Eileen and a…