Set between 2011 and 2015, this is the story of Marianne and Connell whose relationship begins in secret while they are at school, and how it and they change as they leave their small town and go to Dublin for university. It’s about class, communication, love, abuse, mental illness, friendship and the struggle to find one’s place in the world as an adult. It’s very modern, and made me feel old, but it was very compelling.
I have to admit to skipping a few chapters of this book so that I could finish. The premise of the story was great, but the characters let me down – they lacked warmth. The story did get better towards the middle and end.
An Irish police procedural story that has many layers. There are crimes to solve as well as personal life and office politics to navigate. Interesting characters and a well paced story kept me invoved to the end. I look forward to reading more of this series when it comes.
When he was twelve, Adam Ryan went into the local wood with his friends, and something most terrible happened. His friends were never seen again, and Adam couldn’t remember a thing. Years later, Adam is called Rob and he is on the Dublin Murder Squad when a girl is found murdered in the same wood. I really enjoyed this story about two crimes, of course, but also about friendship, childhood and the mess we can make of relationships. It has a delightful Irishness to it, and the ending isn’t too neat.
I enjoyed this mystery set in a small Irish village with an interesting cast of characters. People are holding onto secrets and the past, waiting out careers, marriages and life. It is not a dramatic story, but the story draws you in to a fitting conclusion.
This is the story of an Irishman’s life, from before he was born, when his mother was kicked out of her village by the priest for being unmarried and pregnant, until all of his life was lived. It’s also the story of Ireland, from the end of WWII, until now, and how it has grown and changed. These were hard times to be gay in Ireland, and Cyril’s journey to find a place for and within himself, takes him across the world. This is a difficult story, harsh and sad, but it is also laugh out loud funny, tender, and full of characters that will stay with me.
Dubliners is a series of short stories, set in Dublin in the early 1900s. There isn’t a great deal of plot; it is a snapshot of the lives of different people across the city. Lives filled with love, frustration, contentment, rage, drunkenness, hope, loneliness, lust and despair. They are a little bleak, but beautifully so.
Holding isn’t what I would have expected from Graham Norton. It’s not exactly Colm Tóibín, but it is a charming, tender and thoughtful story of a mystery in a sleepy, rural, Irish town. Quietly amusing with endearing characters and a great setting, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
One of my favourite authors, Maggie O’Farrell has delivered another great book. It’s about a man from New York who, after studying in the UK years before, finds himself living in Ireland, married to a reclusive former movie star. There is all the messiness of life, with all the complications, obstacles, tragedies and mistakes, and how we identify and cling to what is important.
The Green Road is about the Irish Madigan family, from the eighties until now. They are a regular family, each playing the role expected of them, wishing to be understood, not seeking to understand. There is no great plot, but time spent in New York, Mali, Dublin and a small town in County Clare. No characters are truly likeable, and there is no significant resolution, but an interesting look at the selfishness, messiness, intractability, and strength of family ties, and the struggles of modern life.