You by Nuala Ni Chonchuir
purchased from Kennys Bookshop
Description from publisher website:
Debut novel from established short-story writer and poet about a 10-year-old girl who lives with her separated mother and two brothers. Set against the semi-urban backdrop of the River Liffey in 1980, the story unfolds through the narrator’s observations and interactions, and her na├»ve interpretations of adult conversations and behaviour. Heartbreaking at times, but also optimistic, humorous and enchanting.

My take:
This book was sent to me by Des Kenny in my latest parcel through Kennys bookclub*. I had no expectations about the book except that it must be good because all the books Des sends are good. This book was rather unusual -- I have never read another book written quite like this one.  Rather than try to explain, let me demonstrate by quoting the first few lines of the book:
Your ma used up all the juice again. Last week you asked could she get two cartons of orange from now on, instead of only one, because there was never any for you and your brother Liam.
The entire book is written this way.  I gather that this is where the title comes from. Once I got over my first uncertainty about this manner of writing, I was drawn into the story. The story is told from the point of view of a ten year old girl and it is captivating. The reader gets a view of how she sees people and events and attempts to understand what is going on around her -- often failing to really understand how the adults in her life think or feel.  While written from the point of view of a child, the picture of the people involved is complete and sympathetic. This is a troubled family and the tragedy that strikes them resonated with me. So tragic and yet there is humor and optimism there too. I was really impressed at how well this story worked. I read the book in about a day total. It was hard to put down once I got involved in the story. There is so much that I would love to discuss, but I don't want to give too much away -- this book should be discovered by each reader on their own.  This story keeps popping into my head and I am sure I will have to read it again.

*Kennys Bookclub is a wonderful service provided by Des Kenny. I blogged about it early on, but the basics are this:
  • You choose the amount you want to spend on books and at what intervals you would like the books sent to you.
  • Des picks the books that are sent -- subject to approval. If you don't like them, you can return them. However, I have yet to be disappointed in anything that has been sent to me so far.
Every time I receive a parcel, it's like Christmas -- it really is a surprise because you don't know exactly which books will be included. If anyone is interested in Irish literature, I would recommend Kenny's Choice: 101 Irish books you MUST read  by Des Kenny as a starting reference point.


Popular posts from this blog

Eyes Don't Lie - Spotlight Tour post

Sleep in Peace Tonight Excerpt post

Painted Hands Blog Tour and Review