Monday, 6 April 2015

The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes by Anna McPartlin


Rabbit Hayes is in the last stages of cancer and the story begins with her feisty, belligerent mother Molly taking her to the hospice.  The story is told through Rabbit’s memories and takes us through her awkward teens, blossoming through her love for Johnny Faye and becoming a mother to her beloved Juliet.  The whole collection of Rabbit’s family and friends also has a voice and together they create a lively and chaotic background to her final few days.  I refuse to say any more other than the whole cast jump of the page and all of them are wonderful.

I loved, loved, LOVED this book.   I held back from reading it for a while as the subject matter was very close to recent personal events, and yes I did sob, but Anna McPartlin has created a touching, sensitive and downright funny novel that celebrates family, love and grief.
Beautifully crafted, moving and a must read.

Thank you to the publishers and netgalley for my copy of this book.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Hello From the Gillespies by Monica McInerney

Angela’s Christmas round robin email is the usual blend of good news with more than a hint of smugness about it but life on the Australian station isn't as fulfilling as it used to be and her sudden whim to write a more honest evaluation of her life creates ripples when it is accidentally sent out to all her friends and family.

Angela’s life becomes increasingly complicated with the Christmas festivities coming up and the additional pressures of her husband Nick becoming obsessed with finding his Irish ancestors, all three (clueless) adult daughters living at home after all making huge mistakes and young son Ig refusing to stay at boarding school and over relying on his imaginary friend.  Angela retreats into her own dreams of what might have been if she hadn't married Nick and stayed in Australia.

A darkly humorous story of a struggling, but loving family who have to cope with serious issues and illness.  I found it full of warm, realistic and flawed characters that made it a touching read.  Ig in particular is a delight!

Thank you to the publishers and netgalley for my review copy.