A GREYHOUND OF A GIRL by Roddy Doyle
Kirkus Star

A GREYHOUND OF A GIRL

Age Range: 10 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

Twelve-year-old Mary O’Hara is surrounded by good-humored women…her mum at home, her mum’s mum, who is dying in Dublin’s Sacred Heart Hospital, and her mum’s mum’s mum, who has just materialized as a ghost on her street.

That’s four generations of Irish women, all whirling about in some state of consciousness or another, and it’s enough to make Mary dizzy. Mary is a cheeky girl, like many almost-teenagers, but she’s levelheaded enough to embrace the ghostly visits from her great-grandmother Tansey, who looks young but “talks old” because she died at age 25 in 1928. Tansey’s spirit is sticking around for her dying daughter, Mary’s granny, to reassure her “it’ll all be grand” in the great beyond and, as it turns out, to join her family for one last tearful, mirthful midnight road trip. Doyle divides up the novel by character, giving readers first-hand glimpses into the nature of each woman through time. In a lovely, lilting Irish dialect, he deftly explores the common threads of their lives through story and memory, from family-owned racing greyhounds to the traumatic dropping of an egg. On the subject of mortality, Mary says, “…it just seems mean.” Her mother agrees. “It does seem mean. Especially when it’s someone you love.” Indeed.

A warm, witty, exquisitely nuanced multigenerational story.  (Fiction. 10-14)

 

Pub Date: May 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-4197-0168-9
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Amulet/Abrams
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2012




BEST CHILDREN'S BOOKS OF 2012: FICTION ABOUT GIRLS:

ChildrenSPLENDORS AND GLOOMS by Laura Amy Schlitz
by Laura Amy Schlitz
ChildrenTHREE TIMES LUCKY by Sheila Turnage
by Sheila Turnage
ChildrenIN A GLASS GRIMMLY by Adam Gidwitz
by Adam Gidwitz
ChildrenSON by Lois Lowry
by Lois Lowry
ChildrenHADES by George O'Connor
by George O’Connor

MORE BY RODDY DOYLE

ChildrenBRILLIANT by Roddy Doyle
by Roddy Doyle
ChildrenHER MOTHER’S FACE by Roddy Doyle
by Roddy Doyle
ChildrenWILDERNESS by Roddy Doyle
by Roddy Doyle

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenHALF A CREATURE FROM THE SEA by David Almond
by David Almond
ChildrenENGINES OF THE BROKEN WORLD by Jason Vanhee
by Jason Vanhee
ChildrenBEHOLDING BEE by Kimberly Newton Fusco
by Kimberly Newton Fusco