Monday, 17 June 2013

A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle

“A Greyhound of a Girl” was written by Roddy Doyle. The book is set in the Republic of Ireland in mostly the present day, and sometimes breaks from the main storyline to explain key events from the main characters lives in separate chapters. The novel starts with Mary, the main character saying goodbye to he best friend Ava, who is moving out of the area with her family. Mary’s mother is called Scarlett.  Her father is mentioned only a little and she also has two brothers. Mary is greatly saddened by the moving of her friend. Soon afterwards she meets a woman named Tansey, whom she introduces to her mother. Scarlett recognises Tansey to be her grandmother making her Mary’s great-grandmother. Tansey reveals to Scarlett and Mary that she has retuned as a ghost because her daughter Emer (Scarlett’s mother and Mary’s grandmother) is about to die and she wishes to comfort her in her last moments. Later the reader finds out, in a chapter set in the 1920s, that Tansey died of the flu when her child Emer was very young. In the end of the story Mary and Scarlett reveal the existence of Tansey to Emer and the four main characters journey to the old family farm. Each of the characters remember what the farm looked like as each of them recall it.

I did not enjoy reading “A Greyhound of a Girl”. I thought the book was very slow moving, dull and wasn’t interesting at all. Nothing interesting ever happened in the plot and I found the character of Mary hard to identify with as she does not share anything in common with me. If there was something I enjoyed about the book it was the idea of a ghost, however I think that the ghost should have come back to solve something interesting, such as an ancient family mystery, and not to comfort a dying daughter. I also found the fact that the time periods jumped around difficult to follow.

Review written by Angel Thomas, Year 8.

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