Book Review

Review: The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan

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As an Irish twenty-something, I am ashamed to admit that I’m not too fond of Irish authors. A friend of mine has often admonished me, asking me why I won’t read Irish authors when I’m hoping to become one myself someday. Luckily, I’ve started to change my opinion as of late. I’ve discovered some Irish authors that I like and admire and have managed to find authors who take a giant leap away from the “diddly-idle” and “oldies and Irish” style of Irish fiction. Donal Ryan is one such author.

Being honest, The Spinning Heart is a book I had to read. Not because I wanted to, but because I’ve had to teach it. Never in a million years would I have picked up this book and read it because I really wanted to. This is one of the joys of teaching. Without having to read this I would never have discovered this piece of literary art! So, lets get down to the nitty-gritty and jump into my very first book review!!!!

Book: The Spinning Heart
Author: Donal Ryan
Year: 2012
Publisher: Doubleday Ireland

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The Spinning Heart is one of the most brutally honest books I’ve read that takes place in modern day Ireland. Set during the recession of 2008. we are immersed in tragic Limerick where a town is trying to  cope with their newfound misery. Each chapter is narrated by a different character; each with their own unique voice, each with their own story to tell. The characters range from a bereaved mother, to the daughter of the very disliked builder-gone-bust. We meet a character with serious mental illnesses, a devout wife, and an abusive father. Their stories are gripping, their pain very real. While the novel has many different narrators, each character has one thing in common; Bobby Mahon. Bobby was the foreman on the building site and has somehow influenced each of the characters that we meet in this book. He is a friendly character who is always willing to help anyone out; as Jason tells us,

“Bobby done that turn for fellas that was as good as strangers to him and looked for nothing back and nearly made it sound like it was us doing him a favour”

However, Bobby finds himself at the end of some very serious accusations as the novel progresses.

The Spinning Heart is definitely a book I’m glad to have read. For me, it started out slow. I was unsure how I felt about it until I was about three to four chapters in. After that I was hooked. I just wanted to find out what was happening!  I’m very glad that all the pieces of the jigsaw fit together at the end! I would like to stress how accurately Donal Ryan portrays the disheartened citizens of Ireland who were ‘done over’ during the recession. As a young person in Ireland today, often struggling to make ends meet in a country where wages are low and prices are rising, I felt that I could relate to the sense of disappointment that these characters expressed. The knock on effect of the recession is still in full swing and I was impressed to read something that captured the real Ireland of the 21st Century in such an honest way.

My rating:
1-star1-star1-star1-star

Is this a book that you have read or are thinking of reading? Drop a comment below and let me know!

C x

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R E A D I N G
The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan and The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck by Sarah Knight
W R I T I N G
At the moment I’m trying to write a list of blog post ideas. Getting some good feedback so I would like to continue to work hard at this blog!
L I S T E N I N G
I just got my Coldplay album A Head Full of Dreams back! So that was playing away in the car this evening!

S M E L L I N G
A beautiful candle that my godson got me for Christmas! It’s actually from Aldi and is one of the nicest candles I’ve had in a long time!

H O P I N G

That the week ahead will be a new and fresh start full of pleasant surprises!

W E A R I N G
Fluffy Harry Potter PJs!
L O V I N G
That I’m writing about something I’m very passionate about! It’s the little things in life that make me happy

W A N T I N G
A day berween Sunday and Monday!!! Pretty please!

N E E D I N G
What I really need is a new laptop! I must start saving my pennies for this one!

Source
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F E E L I N G
Very tired but also very happy! I’ve had a very lovely weekend with the people I love and I feel like I made the most of my time!

W A T C H I N G
Today was spent lounging around on the couch (I mean, what are Sundays for…?!) and watching game shows on TV with Himself. The game shows are more His thing really, I was happy to just rest and recuperate!

C x