Today is the 3rd January 2003. I read the last 150 pages of this book yesterday and I was distraught. I very nearly could not bring myself to read it but I knew I had to otherwise I wouldn't be able to sleep. I have never before been so moved by a novel. I laughed out loud in all sorts of places, especially the flirty banter between Shaun and Harry and in those terrible final chapters, I cried and I can be a tough nut to crack.
Andrew O'Hare has managed to capture perfectly the emotions and trauma of being gay and the rollercoaster of emotions that comes with coming out. I could almost reach out and touch the characters they were so real to me. How much do we all wish Aunt Jean was OUR mum.
Despite my resolution to finish I could still not sleep, the ideas and emotions that the booked explored were formost in my mind and despite thinking that it is the best thing I have read so far, I could not read it again because of how it made me feel. That is the power of this novel. Maybe it's just me but read and you will see that you cannot pull yourself out of this world for very long, it really is sensational.
Despite being a wonderful novel, it brought home to me the realities of the situation in Northern Ireland and just how messed up the country really is. The tragedy of this book is only made more heartbreaking by the fact that things like this do actually happen in the real world.
There is also outstanding sexual detail and a definite sense of loss and hatred.
SO READ IT! Enjoy it!