Top critical review
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Neither one thing or another.........
on 7 October 2014
I downloaded this book on the strength of so many positive reviews and the fact that I fancied a change of genre from my usual thriller/crime choices. It sat on my Kindle for quite a while until a couple of days ago I decided to give it a go.
I found the style easy to get into and found her writing both descriptive and thought provoking. Basically it is a simple book, telling the story of Irish immigrants who having bravely left their homeland in search of a better life, have settled in Liverpool, where work on the docks was plentiful (if hard) in the 1950's.
There is no "clever, exciting" plot to this book, instead it tells the story of the day to day living of the families living in the `four streets', a run down area, where the large catholic families struggle to survive - but where the sense of community is strong and constant.
For me, the book was running along smoothly until about half way through when child abuse comes into play. I have to say that in a way, this spoiled the story for me. Perhaps that is because for me this book was a step back from the books I usually read, which are thrillers and crime. Once the child abuse was introduced the book changed for me, it became neither one thing or another - neither a pleasant story of times gone by or an exciting thriller/whodunit story.
But nevertheless I did enjoy the writing style and the interaction of the families and so I give it three stars.