A wonderful collection of understated, yet
profoundly compelling slice-of-life stories, by an author I am very fond
of. Lorna’s writing is lovely to read,
creatively crafted in alluring prose. Be
warned though, it can be a little bleak – reminiscent of a grey, rainy day, and
there is little respite from a permeating feeling of sadness and
melancholy. But, this is not necessarily
a bad thing; it is ultimately warm comfort – reading her work brings to mind a
feeling of home; hot tomato soup or stew with dumplings, on a cold winter
day. Every sentence is melodious and
descriptive, and her phrasing is a constant delight. Even the cover painting is perfect.
Most of the stories are connected –
satisfyingly so – and you do find yourself hoping to revisit each, later in the
book; in this respect, it doesn’t disappoint.
With only a small handful of underlying dramatic storylines, the book as
a whole is predominantly cerebral and character-led, playing like a T.V. soap, without
the melodrama. I wonder how much of the book
is taken from the author’s own experiences growing up in Ireland, or those of
someone she knows. It’s as though she
yearns for home in these tales, but ultimately knows the sombre life which
awaits her there, hence the overall melancholic feel.
Sadly, the proof I was sent is not in great
shape. Quite a few errors litter it,
tarnishing the polish on an otherwise top-quality composition, though I am
advised that this ARC is not the final edit, so I am sure these have been cleaned
up. Anyway, the positive points of the
book, and the author, outweigh this, hugely.
One of my favourite qualities in Lorna’s work
is her subtle influence. She doesn’t
need vivid definition and descriptive clarity to make her point; her strengths
are mood and feeling, her stories suggestive and thought-provoking, rather than
clumsy. She treats her audience like
grown up thinkers, and this is a tremendous attribute of any author; it is
certainly the reason she and her work stand out, above most of the rest.
In : Book Reviews