Author: Sinead Moriarty
Dublin is the setting along with a therapist couch. The characters are wide and varied. A stay at home and work-a-holic husband coping with 4 precocious children. A husband and wife dealing with the need to re-evaluate life as one heads to retirement and a young teacher with issues of her own who is falling for a parent. Will the therapist couch fix the underlying issues?
Alice has 4 children and they are her life. However, they are her life to the detriment of her relationship with her husband. Her sense of self, her self esteem all take a hit as she realises that there is nothing left physically, emotionally and mentally for her husband Niall. It is Niall that drives them to the therapist.
While her husband Ken teeters on the brink of retirement, Anne finds herself lonely with an element of boredom. She has a bucket list. Things she wants to do but she knows ken isn’t interested. Anne takes Ken to therapy against his better judgement.
Orla has more complex issues. While falling desperately in love with her pupil Lulus father, there are other complications that bring her to Maggie, our therapist.
Every ounce of Sinead Moriartys writing depicts daily life, it’s real. It is evident that much research has gone into the writing of this book. This is reflective in the way that the reader can easily identify with character aspects.
As I read the book, I was a flustered person trying to give my time to everyone. I was a young woman falling for someone who I maybe should have not fallen for. I was the lonely woman wanting a husband to do many things, many life experiences with her. The thing I identified most with was Anne’s distress when her son emigrated. I too, emigrated and my mum had a tough time dealing with it.
The realism of the characters meant I could identify with aspects of all of them. This gifted me an instant investment into the book. I wanted to know what was happening to them. I needed to know.
Ms Moriarty has a knack with her writing in that she can hook you in the opening pages with her characters and subject matter. That’s a gift. As a writer myself, if I get even half as good….I’ll be a happy woman.