Breeda Looney Steps Forth

Oliver Sands. deGrevilo, $3.99 ebook (298p) ASIN B084VJQ1Y1
Breeda Looney Steps Forth
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Irish writer Sands debuts with an enjoyable, bittersweet account of a woman’s grief and longing to understand her family history. On Breeda Looney’s 37th birthday, she’s drunk and reeling in the street, grieving over her mother, Margaret, who recently died. Thoughts of an impending lunch date with her meddlesome Aunt Nora aren’t helping: “tomorrow’s lunch would likely involve a lecture on Breeda’s many shortcomings, served with a side of hand-wringing, and a generous dollop of Catholic guilt,” Sands notes. Breeda’s grief triggers her depression and anxiety, while Nora, in chapters from her point of view, worries about Breeda tarnishing Margaret’s memory. As Breeda looks through old family pictures, she notes that none exist of her father, Malachy. When Breeda was 12, she was told he’d drowned during a drunken night swim. But after Breeda stumbles upon an 18th birthday card addressed to her from Malachy, she confronts Nora the next morning, who tells her to “leave the past in the past.” Breeda sets out to uncover the truth about Malachy, unaware that doing so will expose more, unexpected family secrets. Sands does an excellent job at using nuance to delve into the denser themes of mental health and grief, and his lyrical prose consistently impresses. Tense and affecting, this is a worthy page-turner. (Self-published)
Reviewed on : 01/04/2021
Genre: Fiction
Breeda Looney Steps Forth
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