Saturday, June 24, 2017

Girl on the Leeside

Girl on the Leeside by Kathleen Anne Kenney
Nan A. Talese: 6/20/17
eBook review copy; 304 pages
ISBN-13: 9780385542395

Girl on the Leeside by Kathleen Anne Kenney is a recommended deferred-coming-of-age story for a woman in Ireland.

Siobhan Doyle has been living with her Uncle Kee since her mother died when she was two years-old. Now twenty-seven, she helps her Uncle Kee run the family pub. The two also share a passion for reading and discussing Irish folklore and poetry together. Until Tim Ferris, an American professor of Irish literature, arrives to discuss poetry with her Uncle, Siobhan has been protected by Uncle Kee, content to live and work at the pub, while keeping to herself, and secretly writing her own poetry. Now she may be opening herself up to the world and new experiences for the first time. Suddenly some secrets may be revealed and her future may hold more options than simply working at the pub.

Pluses include the lovely writing and the Irish poetry sprinkled throughout the novel. Minuses include the many mentions of Siobhan's small stature, long hair, and fairy-like appearance. It is a stretch to also believe that today someone would be as naive and sheltered as Siobhan is portrayed here - but then this is fiction. The dialogue is a bit stilted at times and, although this is a coming-of-age story, it is the "lite" version. There are a few too many unrealistic circumstances for my tastes.

If you like novels that are light, gentle reads about Ireland, Irish poetry, and a late first romantic interest, then this may be a nice choice to bring along on your summer vacation.

Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Nan A. Talese.

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