Monday, 5 September 2016

All We Shall Know - Donal Ryan

From the twelfth week of her pregnancy, Melody Shee talks to her computer, recording all the things that got her to where she is currently. How the pregnancy came about first of all, as the child is not the child of her husband. And when she tells her husband, we begin to understand that her marriage had already turned messy, and why. We hear her innermost thoughts about the child, it's father, the best friend she lost along the way and the new friend she has made. It's heartbreaking to realise how she needs to punish herself and those around her. But for what? Did she do something so dreadful in her life that makes her so bitter and frightened and angry now?
From the back cover we have already been told that the father of the baby is Martin Toppy, a seventeen year old Traveller, and Melody is over thirty. She was teaching him to read and write.......
Descriptions of Traveller life may shock if you have no knowledge of their way of life - but those descriptions are necessary to make the reader understand the issues involved. The big surprise is that Donal Ryan is a man. A man, an author who is able to get into the mind of a woman. Colm Toibin can do this too - and it is no surprise that they are both Irish - the people who tell stories so well. I will be looking for more by this author - if he tells his other stories as well as this I need to read them.

[copy of my Amazon Vine review]

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