Review: A Greyhound of a Girl

A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle

* Copy received through NetGalley.

Mary O'Hara is a sharp and cheeky 12-year-old Dublin schoolgirl who is bravely facing the fact that her beloved Granny is dying. But Granny can't let go of life, and when a mysterious young woman turns up in Mary's street with a message for her Granny, Mary gets pulled into an unlikely adventure. The woman is the ghost of Granny's own mother, who has come to help her daughter say good-bye to her loved ones and guide her safely out of this world. She needs the help of Mary and her mother, Scarlett, who embark on a road trip to the past. Four generations of women travel on a midnight car journey. One of them is dead, one of them is dying, one of them is driving, and one of them is just starting out.

The story starts with Mary going home from school being sad about the fact her best friend moved to another part of Dublin. Close to her house Mary meets a strange woman, old but actually not so old. Quickly we learn this woman is in fact a ghost called Tansey. And so the story begins. It's about Mary, a young and cheeky girl, her mother Scarlett, Scarlett's dying mother Emer, and Emer's dead mother Tansey.
It's always hard when someone close to us is dying, it's difficult to face it. At these times we tend to remember all the important moments we went through with this person. Good and bad, we recall everything. It's beautiful and painful at the same time. And that's exactly what this book is about. It's about life and its natural part, death, and the ways we try to cope with it. We learn about Tansey, Emer, Scarlett, and Mary. About their desires, loves, and fears. We learn about what it means to live and to die.
I loved how complex and human all the characters were. There was nothing fake about them, and with story like this it's a crucial thing.
And what about the Greyhound? Well, you'll see. In the end I almost wanted to say: "I want a greyhound!" But we already have an Irish Wolfhound, and she is a lovely dog with heart so big and pure as the heart of this story.
This was a lovely and touching read. I laughed and I cried, sometimes both at the same time.


Anonymous said...

A road trip story is interesting enough, especially composed only of women, but one with a ghost is uniquely different. And yes I’m interested in how the greyhound comes into it.

Petra said...

It was unique and lovely book! :)

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