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One move to America, one surprise pregnancy and a lot of fun later.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Charming Biily by Alice McDermott

Charming Billy

The late Billy Lynch's family and friends gather at a bar in the Bronx to remember better times. They admire the way his widow, Maeve, is holding up but one cannot think of Billy without saying "There was that girl." Soon the twisted grief of Maeve, Billy and his cousin Dennis becomes apparent.

Not quite sure why this book is an award winning book, perhaps I just didn't get the point of it. The characters were well written and developed but there just did not seem much of a story to it.  What story there was could have been told in a quarter of the pages that this book has.  

It was a struggle to get into as I was never quite sure what time period they were in as the author kept jumping back and forwards within chapters.  It would have probably worked better if she had kept the to'ing and fro'ing of time periods to their own separate chapters.  I was also unsure, at times, of which voice the story was being told from as it seemed to skip from one characters voice to the next without any warning.  
I only kept on reading as it was a short book and I kept on waiting for something significant to happen in the story but, alas, I was disappointed.  The good part of the ending was that it ended!

Did I like anything about this book, well the cover is nice and, ok, credit where credit is due, the author managed to make the Irishness of the characters very realistic.  In fact I could probably credit each of the characters in the book to a real member of my husbands Irish family.  The mannerisms and language of the characters seemed real but again, back to the story, there just was not enough substance in it to make it an interesting read.

So in summary, don't bother with this book.  Xx

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