Almost Love, the latest from Louise O’Neill, examines an all-too-familiar trope – the attraction of the ‘bad boy’.
Twenty-four-year-old Sarah falls for Matthew, a successful property developer in his forties. Matthew has an ex-wife and a teenage son. His ‘relationship’ with Sarah is limited to hurried meetings in a nondescript Dublin hotel room. Despite their sexual relationship, there is no intimacy. Matthew insists on keeping their meetings a secret; responds sporadically to Sarah’s text messages; and shuts down Sarah’s attempts to make plans.
And Sarah does what most women have either done or witnessed in a female friend – she waits by the phone. She goes as soon as she is beckoned. She accepts being treated like trash. She begs and then apologises… It’s the familiarity of this destructive behaviour that makes Almost Love compelling reading.
Did all women take half-truths and implied promises and side glances and smiles and weave them together to create a narrative, the way she had done?Continue reading →
Every year I vaguely think about dropping reading challenges and instead becoming a truly free-range reader. But then I find myself signing up (mostly because I like a list and I like a reason to look through lists).
01. A few years ago, I had an indulgent trip to Miami – to look at buildings (and lie on the beach). Knowing my family would be unlikely to want to spend days looking at Art Deco facades, stair rails and doors, it was sensible to go solo. After seeing this list, it looks like I need another nine trips. Continue reading →
Louise O’Neill’s novel, Asking For It, is hard-hitting, frightening and all-too-real.
The story opens with a conversation between a group of teenage girls – they’re discussing school, exams, boyfriends and parties – the usual stuff, however it quickly reveals the pecking order among the girls and it’s eighteen year old Emma, who’s on top. Continue reading →
Cathy at 746 Books is hosting the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge again this year. I’m going to join in, with a particular effort to read from my stacks of physical books (as opposed to e-books).
There’s no better time to curl up with a book than winter. Because it’s winter in Melbourne. So while Cathy et al. is enjoying the Irish sunshine along with twenty selected books, I’ll be rugging up (I wonder if in fact my winter will be the equivalent of an Irish summer? Perhaps I’ll post the weather forecast for the day I finish each book to compare…). Continue reading →