This is a strong, confident and stunning debut novel from a writer who has a lot to say about what’s happen in Ireland and uses a novel to show the damage caused to society.
There are just so many words that can be used to describe this novel which is set in post bailout Cork. It is decades since I’ve been to Cork and this novel shows a side of the city that tourists may never see, although in truth it could well be any city in Ireland or the UK for that matter. With gritty, although some likeable characters, this story pulls back the layers of Ireland today, shows the devastation that not only the bankers caused, but also the damaged caused by the Catholic Church to Ireland.
Using storylines to challenge the likes of the church and the government she shows why what has happened in Ireland in the past 10 years gives no hope to many for several generations. This is sharp insight into a large section of Irish society in 2015 and not one the tourist board will be handing out to all who arrive at the airport, although they should.
Yet at the same time McInerney takes the story to a human level as we follow Ryan, Georgie, Maureen, Tony and JP as their worlds collide. Even though it shows the underbelly of Irish life, it’s a very enjoyable read, I say this as a proud Irish person. She captures the situations and scenarios they find themselves in, even the good ones who are trying hard and yet it all falls apart for them. With minute detail of how once you’ve made one wrong decision you are on the wrong road, going out of control very quickly and cannot pull back from that. There are times when reading the book you want to shout, no don’t do it, stop, walk away but they don’t but then it would be such a great read if they did.
And a great read it is, I loved it and am so pleased that Rosie Gailer brought it to my attention. I would urge anyone looking for a book written by a wonderful storyteller that’s a little different to read it, this is the book for you.