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4.0 out of 5 stars A comic novel with depth and darkness
'- There's no way round it, I'm finding it very hard to be a widow, I told Grief, the counsellor woman, that Tuesday morning.
- Are you missing your husband a great deal?
- Not especially. I miss the routine of his demands, it's true, but I am plagued day and night with thoughts I'd rather be without.'

The novel opens with 'Our woman', a widow of...
Published 3 months ago by Purpleheart

versus
1.0 out of 5 stars I tried
The blurb on the book promised so much! “caustic, funny and moving" was one claim. "Electrically alive" another. Well, sorry but I just found the whole thing confusing. Yes it did offer some interesting ideas including a description of oral sex described as a slobbering cow, and a philandering husband who I couldn’t really be bothered to have an...
Published 2 months ago by xenofan


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4.0 out of 5 stars A comic novel with depth and darkness, 18 Aug 2014
By 
Purpleheart (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Malarky (Paperback)
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'- There's no way round it, I'm finding it very hard to be a widow, I told Grief, the counsellor woman, that Tuesday morning.
- Are you missing your husband a great deal?
- Not especially. I miss the routine of his demands, it's true, but I am plagued day and night with thoughts I'd rather be without.'

The novel opens with 'Our woman', a widow of three days discussing her recent bereavement with her grief counsellor, to whom she confesses her thoughts about "naked men. At each other all the time, all day long. I can't get it out of my head." Schofield's humour is evident in the counsellor's suggestion that Our Woman "scrub the kitchen floor very vigorously and see would a bit of distraction help".

One of the best things about this novel is Schofield's ear for dialogue. She can evoke rural Ireland with her turns of phrase and her affectionate portrayals of the gang of women that Our Woman spends time with. Our woman explores the infidelity of her husband and her son's coming out with her own sexual adventures. This is an original novel with an episodic structure. I found the latter parts less convincing but the language alone gives it four stars.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a triumph!!, 3 Nov 2014
By 
laineyf "widnes" (warwickshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Malarky (Paperback)
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How to review this amazingly brilliant, original book? It is a stand alone voice in a world that doesn't listen. It's funny, sad, moving, silly, and just strange!! It's one woman in a world where she is taken for granted, leaned on, used and bled dry by her circumstances and her family, and it's her fightback, her making her voice heard and her feelings known. Life is hard for 'Our Woman' and she has her hands full dealing with the vagaries of her family. At times, she seems as mad as a box of frogs, but throughout it all, her voice, and her indomitable spirit call out to us. I loved this book, enjoyed it, and recommend it wholeheartedly. It's a triumph!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful., 23 April 2014
By 
Lily (Sheffield UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Malarky (Paperback)
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A wonderful, funny book which tells the story of a middle-aged farmer's wife on her journey from nervous breakdown to sexual awakening.An unusual story, well told and beautifully written - I loved it.
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1.0 out of 5 stars I tried, 18 Sep 2014
By 
xenofan "xenofan" (Kansas, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Malarky (Paperback)
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The blurb on the book promised so much! “caustic, funny and moving" was one claim. "Electrically alive" another. Well, sorry but I just found the whole thing confusing. Yes it did offer some interesting ideas including a description of oral sex described as a slobbering cow, and a philandering husband who I couldn’t really be bothered to have an opinion about . Gave up after page 52. I did try! Honest!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Highly original...., 14 May 2014
By 
Mr. K. Cross "keithcelt2" (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Malarky (Paperback)
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....& highly enjoyable! This is quite an anarchic, quirky, odd, mad-hatter of a book! It has gentle humour, but also a number of laugh-out-loud moments. Behind it all, however, is quite a sad, desperate story of a woman approaching madness due to happenings beyond her control in her life. Ultimately, it is an uplifting book though, & one that will, as it did with me, stay long in the mind. The main threads concern Gayness, obsession, betrayal & grief. It sounds hard going, & at times it is uncomfortable reading. But it is brilliantly written, gets you thinking, entertains & informs you. I loved this book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars malarky, 24 Aug 2014
By 
E. Dale "elained2" (W. Yorks, England UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Malarky (Paperback)
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great read for a first novel, quirky storyline but very readable, written with humour against a backdrop of semi-tragic incidents, doesn't bog you down with too much description but rather let's the reader's imagination take over, loved it
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky but immensely satisfying, 31 Oct 2013
By 
D. P. Mankin (Ceredigion, Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Malarky (Paperback)
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A curious tale which has an emotional intensity at its core. This is a novel which is likely to linger in your mind long after you've read it. I'll only reveal the opening to offer an insight into the strangeness of the story: In the opening chapter, we are introduced to the narrator, recently widowed, who is referred to throughout as "Our Woman". This quirkiness is difficult to accept at first but the quality of the author's prose quickly dissuaded me of any concerns. I was struck by the counsellor's suggestion that 'our woman' should scrub the kitchen floor after making certain confessions to the grief counsellor. I saw a brief TV interview in which Anakana Schofield explained, in reponse to a question from someone in the media, that she had been given an advance of $6000 against worldwide rights. It's a shame that someone as talented as her should be forced to accept such meagre advances when publishers are so quick to offer 'celebrities' such vast sums for (let's be honest here - ghost written) vacuous "auto-biographies". If you enjoy literary novels then give this a try. You'll enjoy it. Highly recommended
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and Off-the-Wall, 16 Aug 2013
By 
Lincs Reader (Lincolnshire, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Malarky (Paperback)
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The cover of this novel is scattered with praising comments from well-known and much-loved authors such as Emma Donoghue and Margaret Atwood. The paperback version is beautifully presented, with almost childlike illustrations that on closer inspection, are perfectly suited to the story within.

Malarky is not an easy read by any means, although it is a short novel at just over 200 pages. The story is set out in episodes, rather than chapters and although the setting is modern-day Ireland, Our Woman has a very traditional and distinctly regional thought process that is echoed in her speech (or thoughts as is usually the case during the story). The episodes are often short, and sometimes change quickly in tense and voice, which at times can be challenging to the reader. I was able to read the whole novel in two sittings and I personally think that this would be the best way to tackle Malarky, immerse yourself in the world of Our Woman.

Obsession, psychosis and sex - these are the three main themes that I took from this story. Our Woman is obsessed with her husband, her son, and what her circle of friends may be thinking of her. The issues of sexuality and infidelity feature heavily and the psychotic episodes have a strange, sad, sometimes humorous tinge to them.

A lonely farmer's wife, in rural Ireland. Dealing with homosexuality and betrayal - then grief. This is an unusual novel, it's quirky and a little off-the-wall. It's also beautifully written, honest, often startling and sometimes uncomfortable. It's clever, maybe sometimes a little too clever - a little prior knowledge of Catholic Ireland, history and folklore does help.

Certainly a novel that will make people talk, some will love it, I have no doubt that some will not. Me? I liked it very much.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I struggled, 8 May 2014
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This review is from: Malarky (Kindle Edition)
at first, as I had read the cover and believed it. The humour is dark. As a book club read some of my friends said they laughed out loud. I didn't. Yet I couldn't stop reading this book and towards the end I realised the key to really appreciating this book. I've decided not to say what I believe it is, as I think each reader needs to approach this book from the same start line.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A fairly strange book, but worth a read, 21 Nov 2013
By 
Flyboy (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Malarky (Paperback)
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Again, I have a knack of picking books that are very different to how I imagined them to be. THis was no exception. I did enjoy the book but I found it rather depressing in places. Admittedly, the main character was also depressed, but the style of the book was very interesting. It referred to the main character as 'Our woman' which I found a little strange. Perhaps this was the Irish in it? Anyhow, again, not at all what I was expecting but I am glad I read it. Sometimes it is good to read things you wouldn't normally choose..........
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Malarky
Malarky by Anakana Schofield (Paperback - 1 Aug 2013)
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