Julie Fitzgerald is a 20-something Dubliner, "a venerated legal professional in a power suit, with an MGF 1.8i convertible", a very nice apartment and a dentist husband named Ronan. But something's not quite right. When she declares she wants a baby, Ronan caringly packs her off to a health farm with her best friend Sylvana. But Julie returns early, unexpectedly, and finds Ronan lounging by their pool with an unknown blonde, whose lemon yellow Wonderbra (36D) is hanging from the inside knob of their hall door. "There is", as she notes, "a trollope in the air".
Rather than confronting the adulterous pair however (far too easy) Julie embarks on a brilliant campaign of destruction--smashing Ronan's porsche, moving in her mother, liberating Nicole (the blonde)'s fish and overturning her feng-shui-ful place, before--the final insult--"befriending" her. In fact Julie becomes, in her words, "A destroyer. An anarchist. A hooligan. An Antichrist. A savage. An ogre. A Goth. A hag. A terrorist, actually. And it's giving me this warm, happy glow inside."
As it will you. There's nothing quite as fulfilling as self-righteous destruction and Julie's commentary carries us through her emotional undulations with devastating comic timing. The Feng-Shui Junkie should be a whopping big hit, carried by the distinctive new voice of its female narrator. That female voice actually belongs to a man, barrister-turned-writer Brian Gallagher, and the plot's motivation, Julie's ticking biological clock, could be construed as ever-so-slightly gender stereotyping. But there's no doubting that this is a brilliantly sustained, massively confident, wonderfully readable debut and that readers will look forward to hearing from Gallagher again. --Alan Stewart
About the Author
Brian Gallagher was born in Stockholm, Sweden and lived all over Europe as a child, learning several languages. He studied Law and Philosophy at University College, Dublin, earning money by busking with a clarinet all over Europe. Trained as a barrister in The Four Courts, Dublin, Brian Gallagher is now a full-time writer, with ongoing involvement in film and music. He lives in Dublin.