Thanks to Cliona Lewis at PenguinIreland for this review copy of " Mount Merrion "
This refreshing debut novel by Justin Quinn tells the story of Declan and Sinead Boyle and follows their story from when they first met in 1950s Dublin right through to the different times of Ireland in the New Miillenium.
From their idealistic visions of their future in a country struggling to hold onto its natives rather than lose them to emigration, onto the harsh realities of family life and all that entails, this book flows along through the decades with ease.
Sinead struggles to find herself while Declan starts up his own business, leaving his wife to raise the children and maintain the family home. While this was the norm in the last century in Ireland, many wives of prominent men were overlooked, it was refreshing to see it addressed by a male writer.
As social and economic times change and money exchanges hands all over the country, under the guise of " political contributions ", and the bankers and politicians line their pockets, Sinead and Declan's lives move on in a gentle manner.
Written at a nice pace with delicate prose and well researched content, this book should be part of our reading lists in Secondary Schools. It may just teach the next generation a few things, both from a writing aspect and a realistic view of the Celtic Tiger era.
I struggle to think of a book to compare " Mount Merrion " with, as it is an individual work with nicely formed characters and a story that most of the country has read about in one way or another.
Depending on the reader, you will either relate to Declan and Sinead or, at worst, recognise someone you know from the past ten years in Ireland as the country's leaders struggle to gain back credibility.
This title is published by Penguin Ireland on 5th September