I have a real weakness for a well written family drama with well rounded, colourful characters who are believable. I am also partial to a bit of Irish fiction, so this book was right up my street and now I have finished it, I can honestly say I cannot think of anything I didn’t like about this read. I loved Aisling and her family – they are normal, they act and speak like real people and are extremely entertaining to read about. At the start of the book, the whole family seems to be dreading Christmas. Something has already happened to cause a rift in the family, although the exact events are not revealed until later in the book. What they don’t know is that they are about to be given a special Christmas gift, one that they never expected, but which will change their lives forever.
The book tackles the subject of an unwanted teenage pregnancy, and I really liked the fact that it was looking at it from the side of the teenage father and his family, and how it affected everyone. The initial shock, anger and recriminations, the logistics of a new baby in the family, the “politics” of dealing with the baby’s mother and her family, the problems of organising childcare – all of it is here in this book which doesn’t play down any of the problems that crop up, but is still extremely readable and enjoyable. In a turbulent year, Aisling is an absolute gem of a character, really pulling out all the stops to keep her family intact and to prevent it imploding. I really felt for her as she dealt not only with the change in her life that the baby brought, but also all the other problems that seem constantly to be thrown at her by the rest of her family.
The book is very well paced, really romps along with plenty of twists and turns that eventually end up with a real shocker that turns the whole book completely on its head. It is moving, heart warming and quite funny at times. Well worth a read. Many thanks to the publisher for the review copy.