I read this as a Book Club choice and was feeling very unenthusiastic before I started - I expected it to be a bit depressing, being set in the time of the Celtic bust. But, within a couple of pages I was absolutely hooked. Although Donal Ryan introduces so many characters to the book, I felt like I knew and understood each one and missed them when he moved on to the next. It is a beautifully written and insightful portrayal of small-town Ireland at a time when everyone is experiencing the effects of the recession. Each character is expertly drawn and gives you a new perspective each time on what's going on around them. It was a wonderful read and it stayed with me for a long time afterwards - I'd happily read it again very soon.