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A Special Delivery Hardcover – 13 Feb 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Headline Review (13 Feb 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 075539271X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0755392711
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 3.3 x 23.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 979,312 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Clare Dowling is an Irish Times bestselling novelist. Before that she had a whole host of jobs, including acting, waitressing, data inputting and auditioning for film roles that she never got. All of it was good experience when she came to write, though, and many of her previous professions have been reincarnated in her work. She's written many stageplays, television and film scripts, and adult and children's novels and monologues.

She's written eleven bestselling books to date including GOING IT ALONE and A SPECIAL DELIVERY. She is also a busy television scriptwriter. She lives in Dublin with her family.

Do come and say hello on facebook, by liking Clare Dowling Books, or you'll find her on Twitter, @clare_dowling. Her website is www.claredowling.ie. Thanks!

Product Description

Review

Commercial fiction at its most entertaining (Marian Keyes)

Very funny and original (Cathy Kelly)

For Sheila O'Flanagan and Cathy Kelly fans, a warm, Irish, poignant read (Bookseller)

Wonderfully entertaining (Sunday Tribune)

Sparkling and witty (Irish Tatler)

Witty and refreshingly honest (Irish World)

Book Description

Irish bestseller Clare Dowling's new novel is warm,witty and refreshingly honest. Whether you're a mother, a sister, a daughter or a grandmother, this hilarious story of teenage pregnancy and mistaken identity is guaranteed to have you laughing out loud.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By ElaineG TOP 50 REVIEWER on 26 Aug 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By bleachhouselibrary on 9 Mar 2014
Format: Hardcover
Aisling Brady is a married Mother of four, who is dreading Christmas for the second year running. There is an empty chair at the table and her heart is broken. Tension in the house is building and to make matters worse, the gaudy outdoor illuminations have blown her fuse box so they have no electricity on Christmas Eve. What else can happen? A lot, as it turns out. Their make-shift nativity scene,on their front lawn, has a new addition. One that requires nappies and bottles. But why did someone choose to leave their child on Aisling's lawn on Christmas Eve?
This is the story of a regular family, on a regular Dublin street, trying to come to terms with changes within their four walls. Aisling and her husband, Mossie, are drifting apart and as their children are growing up, they wonder if they can bear the thought of spending time together forever. A special delivery brings about change in the Brady household, but is it enough to forget the past and heal wounds that are gaping open?

Clare Dowling has written an account of family life that is real and has a warts and all feel about it. Issue such as depression, drug abuse and unplanned pregnancies are all dealt with in this novel, but in a non-judgemental way. It shows that every family has its issues and not everyone, within the family unit, will agree with how to address these issues.
A strong cast of family characters makes the story more believable and some guest appearances by Aisling's Polish neighbour, Zofia, adds some comedy to the tale. Her antics, and language faux pas, had me smiling a lot and wanting more. This is a book with a message or two. Forgiveness, understanding and adjustment being the ones that jumped out at me. I'm sure everyone can find something to take away from this story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anne TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Sep 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
What made this book work especially for me is that the main character is a mother in her 40s with a husband and family. She's not glamorous or particularly special in any way but she is trying to hold her family together through a difficult time. She has a husband who she feels has betrayed her and a missing son. She and the rest of the family are dreading Christmas when they find a baby in the crib scene they have outside.

This is a book about families, drug abuse, teenage pregnancy, bereavement, mental illness and regret. It is inhabited by real people who love one another fiercely but who issue ultimatums, take sides and make mistakes. Although there is love at the heart of the book they don't all recognise it and it doesn't solve all the problems. The author sensibly makes sure that not all ends are tied up by the end.

The character of Aisling, the mother, ties the whole book together but we also see scenes from other points of view which illuminate the story and show a different side to issues. No one is all bad in this book and everyone has faults but you are willing it all to come together - for the sake of the child at least.

If you like family sagas with a sarcastic bite then you will enjoy this one. The plotting is well done and the characterisation excellent. The author displays her understanding of the things which are not said in families as well as what is said. I was engaged all the way through. I received a free copy fo this book from the publishers via NetGalley.
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