By Mary Costello
The heart-breaking and evocative debut novel by critically acclaimed Irish writer, Mary CostelloTweet
All the members of our book club found the book an easy read, in spite of the not very happy story line. A lot of us appreciated the fact that the long time span covered in this short book was in chronological order, with no confusing flashbacks!
Some individual comments from members of the group:-
1.'I thought this was a very descriptive novel, with very evocative language. The main character Tess I found a bit of a 'wet' if I'm honest. She just drifted and let things happen. However, you couldn't but feel a little sad for her - she was just so needy. And what a family she had - alcoholic brother, sister dying, father afraid to show affection, determined to keep the kids from going off the rails after his wife's death, which sadly Tess and her brother do.'
2. 'For the first few pages I thought, "Oh no, not another (albeit fictional) misery memoir, but I persisted and I'm so glad I did.
Apart from an excess of staccato sentences, which make for uncomfortable reading, I thought it was the best book I'd ever read about a child seemingly born 'needy' and anxious, and the impact that life events will have on such a nature.
I was surprised when I looked at the author photograph and saw how young she looks. Her writing and understanding is so mature that I'd expected someone much older to have written it. Well done, Mary Costello!'
I loved this. A simple story but beautifully told with plenty of detail and atmosphere. I felt I was there and thoroughly enjoyed this sensitive book;would it had been longer.