Top positive review
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A Story of Rare Depth and Beauty
on 19 October 2011
Not many books move me to tears, but this one did on several occasions. Sometimes through sadness, other times through joy, and occasionally through both simultaneously. The main character and narrator, Eve Hayes, is a young woman with Down's Syndrome living in Northern Ireland in the early 1970s. The skill with which the author has created Eve - telling the story through her words and thoughts - is substantial. Reading this book was more than a literary experience; it was a spiritual journey. I grew to love Eve more and more as the story progressed. Everything about the character endeared her to me: her innocence; her love for others; her wisdom; her depth; her sense of wonder and optimism. The other characters are beautifully written too, each of them an archetype. Some of the prose and much of the dialogue has a lovely Irishness about it, which anchors the story geographically, just as the descriptions of Belfast bombs and unwanted British-Army intervention roots it historically in the early '70s.
Summary: a main character whom anyone with a heart will fall in love with; other characters who ring true and have complexity; a tale of love and loss that comes across as authentic and unpretentious; gorgeous Irish dialogue; a mythical subplot (revealed through the inner monologue of Eve) which eventually takes over from real-world events.
Profound. Poignant. Beautiful. Life-affirming.