All the Bad Apples

Moïra Fowley-Doyle. Penguin/Dawson, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-525-55274-1
In this emotionally brutal drama set in 2012 Ireland, a young woman goes on a road trip to uncover her family’s secret past. Soon after her older sister, Mandy, vanishes and is presumed dead, Deena Rys, 17, who has just come out as gay to her disapproving family, discovers a letter suggesting that Mandy is still alive and seeking to break the family curse, which supposedly befalls “bad apples” when they turn 17. With companions, including best friend Finn as well as Mandy’s newly revealed teen daughter, Ida, Deena follows a trail of letters across Ireland, each one uncovering another piece of her family’s tragedy-laden history. What she discovers is generations’ worth of shame, secrecy, and sorrow resulting from Ireland’s religiously and culturally restrictive views on teenage pregnancy, “fallen women,” queerness, and reproductive rights. Fowley-Doyle (The Accident Season) draws upon the all-too-horrific fates of unwed mothers-to-be and their children to tell an uncompromising, raw tale, and the curse’s inclusion injects a note of resonant myth. Told in a mix of letters, family stories, and narrative, this devastating novel manages to find hope for the future while sending pointed messages that are as vital as they are timely. Ages 14–up. Agent: Claire Wilson, Rogers, Coleridge & White. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/13/2019
Release date: 08/27/2019
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-525-55276-5
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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