Review: A Greyhound of a Girl

A Greyhound of a Girl
A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“A Greyhound of a Girl” was definitely one of those stories that I think has a sweet, slice-of-life, remembrance theme to it, though I’m not sure if it didn’t appeal to me as much because of the multiple perspectives it was written in, or if it was something about the structure/flow of the writing that didn’t pull me in. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a sweet story that I liked, but it didn’t tug at my heartstrings as much as I believed it would and I had to take the story in small bits. It’s a brief read, with quick prose carried primarily by dialogue, though it took me about a month to finish it.

The story revolves around four generations of Dublin women. Mary O’Hara, the youngest, sees a woman whom she believes to be a new neighbor, but comes to realize that the woman is really the spirit of her great grandmother Tansey, a woman who died well before her time. The reason for her appearance centers around the note that her daughter, Mary’s grandmother Emer, clings to her last moments of life in the hospital. Tansey is visible to both Mary, Mary’s mother Scarlett, and the rest of the family and the story toggles between each perspective character’s past and present. Ultimately, Tansey, Scarlett and Mary take Emer from the hospital on a road trip which comes with the knowledge and recall of each woman’s experiences, in which they learn and laugh about each other in the process.

I did like the spot humor and quirky nature of the characters. The thing I didn’t like about the book was that some of the dialogue was so spotty in places that while in some cases it worked well for humor, others seemed like they didn’t really have much to do with the story overall. And the plethora of exclamation marks put me off a bit – as I felt it was a bit unnecessary to have all of them to communicate the emotional connect of the statements themselves. I would say it’s worth reading if you like generational stories with bits of humor and a slice of life mentality. For me, this was probably a one-time read overall, but I still enjoyed the experience.

Overall score: 3/5

Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher ABRAMS/Amulet Books.

View all my reviews

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