Too much emphasis on lyrical descriptions and a confusing structure spoilt a novel that had the potential to be fascinating.
It is based on the true story of a young girl who caused uproar in Ireland and the Catholic church because she wanted to travel to England for an abortion.
Mary is under 14 when her father rapes her and she concieves his child. Her bewilderment and shame are well described as the whole of Ireland gets involved in the case. Both the pro and anti abortion lobies are represented, although those advocating the baby's right to live are painted in an extreme and fairly unsympathetic light.
The other main character, the father, is a weak man; expert with animals and proud of his daughter, yet unable to curb his sexual needs. I didn't feel much sympathy for him, only anger.
The story was thought provoking, but I would not recommend the book because it lacked flow and 'readability'.