Monday, February 21, 2011
By Tana French
Published by: Viking Penguin, a member of Penguin Group / 375 Hudson Street / New York, New York 10014
First Printing: 2010
Barnes and Noble
Concept: “Back in 1985, Frank Mackey was nineteen, growing up poor in Dublin’s inner city and living crammed into a small flat with his family on Faithful Place. But he had his sights set on a lot more. He and his girl Rosie Daly, were all set to run away to London together get married, get good jobs, break away from factory work and poverty and their old lives.
But on the winter night when they were supposed to leave, Rosie didn’t show. Frank took it for granted that she’d given him the brush-off – probably because of his alcoholic father, nutcase mother, and generally dysfunctional family. He never went home again.
Neither did Rosie. Everyone thought she had gone to England on her own and was over there living a shiny new life. Then, twenty-two years later, Rosie’s suitcase shows up behind a fireplace in a derelict house on Faithful Place, and Frank is going home whether he likes it or not.
Getting sucked in is a lot easier than getting out again. Frank finds himself straight back in the dark tangle of relationships he left behind. The cops working the case want him out of the way, in case loyalty to his family and community makes him a liability. Faithful Place wants him out because he’s a detective now, and the Place has never liked cops. Frank just wants to find out what happened to Rosie Daly, and he’s willing to do whatever it takes, to himself or anyone else, to get the job done.”
Review: I wanted to read this book because it was on a lot of “best of” lists. “Best Read for January” etc. It sounded interesting, even though it was not the genre of book I usually read. But I was willing to go for it. I’m Irish. My Grandmother was born IN Ireland, and came to me complete with accent and some weird traditions. So I was very anxious to get into this book.
It starts us out with Frank waiting for his girl. Together, they are going to escape to London and build their lives there. But as the concept blurb tells us, Rosie never shows and poor dejected Frank moves on with his life.
Fast forward 25 years later and Frank returns home because of a suitcase that was found with Rosie’s belongings. From there, we are introduced to Faithful Place and its many colorful inhabitants. Frank is in for a family gathering of sorts and as is the truth in all families, you learn that if you communicate, things come out that you may not have always realized. We get to hear the anger that pops out of Frank and his siblings and unfortunately, it’s a pretty easy road to figure out who done it. But I believe it’s the journey along the way to figure it out is what makes many people like this book.
What I liked: This author is a genius in how she writes dialogue. It was like I was there in the conversation, even with all the Irish brogue it was *real* talk. I really enjoyed that about this book. The author definitely pulled you into the story. Most definitely.
What I disliked: Well, for me, this story was slow, slow, SLOW. I almost gave up several points along the way. As I said, the *bad guy* was easy to figure out so there was no real mystery here. I’m not a fan of family dysfunction. I only have to look at reality to get a dose of that. This just wasn’t my favorite book.
My rating: 3 Stars for excellent writing