Monday, December 19, 2011


THE MISREMEMBERED MAN  by Christine McKenna is an excellent read.

Ms. McKenna has a wonderful voice and does a wonderful job defining her characters. I know them as well as I might know my neighbors. I can see the Irish setting, hear the lilting speech patterns, visualize even the minor characters...all from her writing.

There were terrible parts of the story I didn't enjoy. Such places as the horrific orphanages Ms. McKenna writes about actually existed, and the ugliness of that reality isn't easy to learn about. But to balance things out, the characters got into situations where I laughed out loud.

When farmer Jamie becomes depressed after being left alone with his farm and its animals to care for, his friends decide he needs a good woman.

When schoolteacher Lydia gets out for the summer, her friend gives her something to look forward to besides remaining at the beck and call of her widowed, ailing mother.

This is not a romance, even though it sounds like the beginnings of one. It's a reminder of how inhumane caretakers of children can warp lives. It's also a portrait of how hope is an integral part of the human character. It's also a story of how strange life can sometimes be.

Great book.

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