Pages: 320 pages
Published: August 27, 2019
Publisher: Kathy Dawson Books
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction & Literature, Contemporary, Fantasy
The day after the funeral all our mourning clothes hung out on the line like sleeping bats. ‘This will be really embarrassing,’ I kept saying to my family, ‘when she shows up at the door in a week or two.’
When Deena’s wild and mysterious sister Mandy disappears – presumed dead – her family are heartbroken. But Mandy has always been troubled. It’s just another bad thing to happen to Deena’s family. Only Deena refuses to believe it’s true.
And then the letters start arriving. Letters from Mandy, claiming that their family’s blighted history is not just bad luck or bad decisions – but a curse, handed down through the generations. Mandy has gone in search of the curse’s roots, and now Deena must find her. What they find will heal their family’s rotten past – or rip it apart forever.
I have no words after reading this one. This novel was just so amazing! I would give it 10 stars if I could. Fowley-Doyle took such an important issue and incorporated such realistic and magical themes and created such a terrific story. I was captivated with it from beginning to end. The feminist themes were abundantly clear but something that everyone can take with them as this story. The magical realism may confuse people but I don’t think they are really taking the time to look behind the meaning of the story. The fantasy element just ties perfectly well with how the Irish tell their stories. And this is a story that definitely needs to be told.
As most countries do, Ireland has a dark past and this book does an amazing job revealing its history. You will cringe. You will be saddened. You will be disgusted. You will be angry. And this is the whole point. This novel may be fiction but the story told here is not all too similar to other female stories involving the Magdalene laundries in Ireland, a topic that I now want to fully know more about.
Everyone should read this book. Not only is it beautifully written but you learn something new and open your eyes to an issue that you did not think could be possible.
Overall rating: 5 out of 5 stars