Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Great-Grandmother—Grand-Daughter Book Club


You’ve heard of Mother-Daughter Book Clubs, right? Roddy Doyle’s A Greyhound of A Girl (Amulet Books, 2012) would be the perfect pick for a Great-grandmother-Grandmother-Mother-Daughter Book Club…

…if such a thing existed.

Four generations of Irish women—one dead, one very close to death, one a mom, and the last a teenager—form the cast of characters in this unusual novel. All have unique voices, given life through Doyle’s wonderful dialogue.

Since each character tells her own story, the novel is at once modern and old-fashioned. Come to think of it, that’s how Ireland itself struck me on my first visit a few years back.

Don’t let the illustrated cover (showing a girl running) or the lovely maps on the endpapers (hinting at a rollicking road trip) mislead you. Greyhound is what editors would deem a “quiet” novel.

“Quiet” in this instance is totally appropriate. The characters are each figuring out how to deal with death, and life. And, at least in Roddy Doyle’s beautifully imagined world, these women don’t need to shout to figure things out.

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