After Breda Moriarity gets caught stealing one too many times, Breda’s mom sends her to Ireland—a place she has never been—to live with the grandfather she has never met.
While Breda doesn’t want to be in this strangely beautiful land, she finally gets to meet her Granda, her mom’s father. He’s a grumpy farmer who is also a seanchaí, a traditional Gaelic storyteller. But the most important story to Breda is the one nobody will talk about: what happened to her absent father. If nothing else, this summer, Breda is determined to figure out the truth about her family’s history—and herself.
This was one of the most satisfying books I have read this year!
First off, has anyone noticed how many middle school books are about a kid being sent somewhere they have never been to live with a relative they have never met? Is this something that happens in real life?
Anyway, this is a female coming-of-age, summer journey story, heavy on the female with talk of periods and puberty. I love Breda’s relationship with her mother and Granda and how she learns about their history. So much family drama. It had a bit of a Mamma Mia vibe. Breda really grows into herself during her time in Ireland. She becomes a strong, unapologetic woman, like her mother.
The Ireland setting is magical, like a fairytale land. The map of Ireland, particularly the Dingle Peninsula, was helpful in understanding the area. I love it when I find stories that take place outside of America.
I love how the story handled many tough topics, from undocumented immigration to single motherhood and having children out of wedlock. These are all very difficult topics, but the way they are talked about is what makes this story so great. It’s raw and honest. The only truly unsettling part of the story is the very disturbing cow birth. Chapter 20, I advise skipping this chapter if the idea of giving birth makes your stomach squirm.
I highly recommend listening to the audiobook. The narrator does a fantastic Irish accent, and you can feel every powerful emotion in her voice. This was the first time an audiobook almost made me cry.
I delayed reading the last two chapters because I didn’t want the story to end. I was a little disappointed with the ending, though. I felt like the story could have continued, so I’m hoping for a sequel.