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Big Girl, Small Town

Narrated by: Nicola Coughlan
Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
Categories: Fiction, Literary
4.5 out of 5 stars (19 ratings)

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Summary

Stuff Majella knows

  • God doesn't punish men with baldness for wearing ladies' knickers
  • Banana-flavoured condoms taste the same as nutrition shakes
  • Not everyone gets a volley of gunshots over their grave as they are being lowered into the ground  

Stuff Majella doesn't know

  • That she is autistic 
  • Why her ma drinks 
  • Where her da is  

Other people find Majella odd. She keeps herself to herself, she doesn't like gossip and she isn't interested in knowing her neighbours' business. But suddenly everyone in the small town in Northern Ireland where she grew up wants to know all about hers.   

Since her da disappeared during the Troubles, Majella has tried to live a quiet life with her alcoholic mother. She works in the local chip shop (Monday-Saturday, Sunday off), wears the same clothes every day (overalls, too small), has the same dinner each night (fish and chips, nuked in the microwave) and binge watches Dallas (the best show ever aired on TV) from the safety of her single bed. She has no friends and no boyfriend, and Majella thinks things are better that way.   

But Majella's safe and predictable existence is shattered when her grandmother dies, and as much as she wants things to go back to normal, Majella comes to realise that maybe there is more to life. And it might just be that from tragedy comes Majella's one chance at escape. 

©2020 Michelle Gallen (P)2020 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Brilliant

I couldn't stop listening. I became utterly fascinated by the lives of these characters and loved every moment and detail. Highly recommend. Beautifully narrated too, added to the sense of authentic storytelling.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Gave up on this

Sorry, but I found this book really heavy going. No story arc, no character development, just a rather dreary setting and a depressing group of people. Narration is fine, though the screechy mother was quite hard to listen to.