Sunday, November 13, 2011


Pages: 169
Date: 12/11/2011
Grade: 5
Details: Juvenile Fiction 12-14

From the back of the book:

Scarlett, Mary, Tansey, Emer.
Mothers and daughters heading off on a car journey.
One of them dead,
one of them dying,
one of them driving,
one of them just beginning.
They’re going back to the past on a matter of life and death.

Mary is twelve and she hates the hospital. She hates everything about it, except for one thing, her granny.
Mary’s granny Emer is in hospital afraid to close her eyes in case she’ll never open them again while unable to stay awake.
Mary visits her granny everyday together with her mother, Scarlett. The visits aren’t easy, but both mother and daughter love granny deeply, so they keep on going and keep on making the same jokes.
Then one day on her way home from school Mary meets a confusing woman. The woman seems to appear out of nowhere and is young although she makes an old impression. Mary feels she should be afraid of this woman, but she isn’t because somehow the woman, whose name is Tansey, seems familiar.
When the ties between the four women are revealed, they go on a road trip together. For one of them it will be the last trip she ever makes, for one of them it’s the first trip in about eighty years and for two of them it will make the loss they’ll have to face a little bit less hard.

This is a charming book and a heart-warming tale. It is a ghost story without the scares, a coming of age story without the drama and a tale about love and loss without forced sentimentality.
At times funny and at times sad this story is inspired from start to finish.
Mary is a feisty, charming and completely life-like character who I couldn’t help but love, both in her cheeky and in her not-cheeky moments. But then she descends from a line of strong and loving women.
This is a book that will be enjoyed by young teenagers as much as by adults, although they may have different reasons for loving the story.
Roddy Doyle has once again succeeded in writing a simple yet evocative tale, a story that will stay with the reader for a long time.

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