What is really happening, what is memory, what is the mind’s defense against knowing the truth? Barry’s main character Tom Kettle confronts these questions daily as he navigates the aftermath of intergenerational trauma, the creation and destruction of a family, and the ongoing damage of sexual assault by Catholic priests in Ireland.
Reader, writer, mostly literary fiction with brief forays into nonfiction and poetry
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2023 Reading Goal
84% complete! Rachel Unkefer has read 42 of 50 books.
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This book is like a mashup of “Almost Famous” and Lena Dunham’s “Girls.” So, not great. The writing in the first half has a lot of run-on sentences and badly needed an editor. The last half is much better written, but doesn’t really make up for shaky start. Ultimately, the theme of the book is that even the most intense female friendship can’t survive one of the friends choosing marriage and children. The main character, first person narrator, who remains single, is supposed to be the wronged one here, but she comes off as whiny and immature. There is a romanticization of life as a couple of 20-something girls in late 1990s New York working for a music magazine, but it actually doesn’t seem like they’re having all that much fun. A bit mystifying why this book got good reviews.