A GREYHOUND OF A GIRL
By Roddy Doyle
All ages Fiction
Amulet Books (an imprint of Abrams)
Mary O'Hara is finding out that at 12 years, life doesn't go the way it should. Her best friend has moved away to another part of Dublin, her mother ends every sentence with an exclamation point, her beloved granny is ill and she's met a strange woman who seems to know who she is.
In the hands of Booker winner Roddy Doyle, Mary is about to undertake a journey of wonder, wrapped up in love. Because that strange woman, Tansy, is the great-grandmother that she never met, that her mother never met and who her granny lost when she was much younger than Mary is now.
Doyle breaks the book up into separate stories about their different lives. They're all quite different and show the different ways women were expected to help their families in their own eras. But the stories also show how strong women who love their families can do that and remain themselves as well.
The final sections of the book depict a fanciful way that they can discover each other's strengths and loves in a way that perhaps could only happen in Ireland. It's a wild ride of a finish that is sweet without being maudlin. Best of all, Doyle shows a way that generations can remember and honor those they loved, and who loved them. This way shows how the novel got its title.
Although marketed as a children's novel, this is a grand little story that would be a delight to any woman who cares about the women who helped make her who she is, and who likes the idea of carrying on a legacy of love.
©2012 All Rights Reserved CompuServe Books Reviews and reprinted with permission