Friday, December 30, 2011

My First NetGalley Review: A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle

Title: A Greyhound of a Girl
Publisher: ABRAMS
Imprint: Amulet Books
Publication Date: May 01, 2012
ISBN: 9781419701689

Author: Roddy Doyle
Category: Fiction - Juvenile: Other

Summary and Author Information: 
Mary O'Hara is a sharp and cheeky 12-year-old Dublin schoolgirl who is bravely facing the fact that her beloved Granny is dying. But Granny can't let go of life, and when a mysterious young woman turns up in Mary's street with a message for her Granny, Mary gets pulled into an unlikely adventure. The woman is the ghost of Granny's own mother, who has come to help her daughter say good-bye to her loved ones and guide her safely out of this world. She needs the help of Mary and her mother, Scarlett, who embark on a road trip to the past. Four generations of women travel on a midnight car journey. One of them is dead, one of them is dying, one of them is driving, and one of them is just starting out.

Roddy Doyle is the author of nine novels. He won the Man Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. His novels have been made into popular films, including The Commitments and The Snapper. He lives and works in Dublin, Ireland.

A Greyhound of a GirlA Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was wonderful. It really captured the sadness of losing a loved one. I felt myself relating to the characters, I cried when they cried, and laughed at Mary's cheeky comments. I adored the moments between daughter and mother. The author was great at bringing about touching scenes without making them come across cheesy or cliche.

The amount of dialogue used was sufficient I feel for the setting of the story. I loved the language used by the characters and how they played off each other. I do not know much about Ireland or it's language but to me the setting seemed very realistic even though there was a ghost involved.

The love felt by the four women and their acceptance of the beginning and ending of life. Even though Mary is just on the edge of womanhood, she has a mature nature that shows she will be a strong woman once she grows up. The parallels between Mary's excitement of coming womanhood and Emer's apprehension about her impending death reflected each other in a subtle but moving tribute to the processes of life and death.

There wasn't anything spooky about this ghost story. It was more of a reflection on the different stages of life. The author provided a well paced and touching story that spans through each characters lives. Their childhoods, their adulthoods, and for two of them, their deaths. I felt the flashbacks where written in a subtle yet effective way. They tied the story together beautifully and left no questions unanswered.

I will definitely be looking for more works by Roddy Doyle.

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