★★★★★ Note: This is more of a suspenseful drama than a classic thriller.

Even though I read this novel many years ago, this irish tale of Paula Spencer and her trying to survive domestic abuse has never left my mind.

Roddy Doyle’s description of this small irish village and its working class people struggling to stay together and society’s judgements is cleverly put together with a gritty, raw language that is beautiful in its ugly truths. It is kitchen sink realism in one of its better forms.

The shock of being hit the first time, the hope that it will never happen again, the love for the man, the lying, saying she was so clumsy she constantly walked into doors, all of these things are described to us by Paula, and it is impossible to judge her. It could be me, is what one thinks. What would I do? If anything, this book shows us that we probably can’t answer that question until it actually happens to us. And God forbid that it ever would.

This is one of those books that stays with you forever.

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