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Summary

Charlie Regan is going back to her roots.

Her career as a filmmaker is on standby, she hasn't had a girlfriend in forever, her best friend is sickeningly successful (and being awkward since that night) and her dad is dying of cancer. So the invitation from Cork Film Festival comes like a sign - a chance to explore the Irish homeland she's never seen. But this isn't just any search for long-lost ancestry: Charlie's father is the sole survivor of a tragic accident that killed every other child on the small island where he grew up, and Charlie's one achievement is the film she made that tells his story.

It's only when she arrives in Ireland that she fears his story may have been a lie.

The site of the tragedy yields suspicious clues. The friendly locals turn hostile. And what felt like her heritage - her home - starts to become a trap.

With a sharp eye and sour tongue, Caroline O'Donoghue delivers a delicious contemporary fable of prodigal return. Blisteringly honest, funny and moving, it grapples with Irishness, authenticity and how to define yourself when you don't know your history.

©2020 Caroline O'Donoghue (P)2020 W. F. Howes Ltd

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

The accents

As an Irish person I really couldn’t cope with the accents at all, the Irish or the American :(

5 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Satisfying, feminist, and twisty

The plot and writing are superb, dragging you off in a completely different (and much darker) direction than you might expect from the first few chapters, which tread familiar ‘millennial woman with her life in a mess’ territory. What comes later is so much more interesting and unfolds grippingly.

Nice to have a protagonist who isn’t straight. The writing is deft, never fussy or show-off-y. It’s definitely as good as the author’s first book, Promising Young Women - quite possibly better.

Performance wise, some of the folksy country Irish accents got a bit much for my ear - to the point of laughable at times - but then I’m not Irish, so what do I know? Apart from that, this is a really enjoyable engrossing listen. Gripping and easy to digest, but with definite bite and substance too.

I will definitely be pre-ordering whatever O’Donoghue writes next.

1 person found this helpful

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

Found comfort as a Lost Adult.

I loved the last line...
"And eventually when there's nothing left to talk about we start the long journey home".
This story brings together so many different themes around the trauma being processed across the globe and how before we can even begin to move on it needs to be acknowledged and shared, whilst respecting the people who actually had to live through it.
Its given me a lot to think about whilst also putting my mind at ease so thanks, Caroline, for helping me uncross a few wires, much appreciated. 😊

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Better and better

Loved it, took a little while to get into it but just got better and better!!

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Weird performance. Pleasant story.

I found the narrator very grating. It was read so flatly and the intonation so stilted and not representative of normal speech that it really detracted from the book. That said, I enjoyed it- the characters were interesting and the story is a nice easy entertainer.