Written by Eleanor O’Reilly
Meet the Augustts: a loving, Irish family who, like all families, are a bit complicated.
They are bound together by their love for each other, but each expresses themselves in a very different way. When misfortune strikes the family, they must learn to understand each other anew. Sometimes, in a family as complicated as the Augustts, it’s not always what is spoken that makes the most sense.
Everything is shaken up when Granny Mae-Anne moves in and takes charge. A force of nature, full of stern words and no-nonsense common sense, it is she who must try and hold the family together.
M for Mammy is an uplifting story about the unique comfort of home, the language we can find when the words aren’t there, and the power of a family to heal itself.
A Sad and Heart-Breaking Tale
I think this is one where I may well be out of step with popular opinion; I found it to be a sad read, and at times struggled to get through to the end.
All about the lives of the Augustts; Da, Mammy, Jenny and Jacob. The are not without their problems but, as families do, they muddle through. Then Mammy suffers from a bout of ill health and the rest of them are left struggling like a rudderless ship. Granny Mae-Anne decides that the only answer is for her to move in and look after both children – and she is a force to be reckoned with.
This novel reveals the innermost thoughts of Jenny and Jacob, whilst following Annette in her long road to recovery. As with any child who cares for a younger sibling, Jenny is old beyond her years and isn’t sure about things Granny does differently from Mammy. Da and Granny don’t exactly hit it off, adding to the confusion. There is so much reading in this one, I found the narrative to go on and on, and I lost focus more than once, but I kept going to the final page. In all honesty, I can’t say I loved it, finding it to be a sad and heart-breaking story. It was an okay read, and I’m really not sure I would go any further than that, sadly. I cannot complete my review without mentioning the glaring error relating to Thomas the Tank Engine’s friends. Anyone who, like me, has raised two children as big fans and who are now raising theirs with the same love of these characters, knows that Gordon is – like Thomas – blue, and not green (like Henry)!!
My thanks to John Murray Press for my copy via NetGalley. This is, as always, my honest and unbiased review.
Tags: family life
- Format: ebook, paperback, hardcover, audio
- Size: 432 pages
- Publisher: John Murray Press
- Publication Date: 21 March 2019
- Purchase Links: Google Play
- W. H. Smith
Meet the Author
Eleanor O’Reilly is a teacher of English and Classical Studies who has just completed an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Having first started writing five years ago, she has received several literary prizes, including the 2015 RTE Francies McManus Radio Short Story Award and the 2013 William Trevor International Short Story Award, and has been shortlisted for several others, including the 2016 Colm Toibin Literary Award.
She lives in Ireland with her husband Brian Kelly, their daughter Ella Kelly, and a whole menagerie of pets. M FOR MAMMY is her debut novel.