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The New Girl By Sinead Moriarty

The New Girl‘The New Girl’ is by award winning Sinead Moriarty and it’s her first Young Adult book.

At school, Ruby is the odd one out. Although Denise and Clara are her friends, they are each other’s best friend and she is the ‘other’ friend. So when new girl Safa, a refugee who has just arrived in Ireland from Syria, joins the class, she is put sitting beside Ruby. Safa and Ruby realise that their lives are very different. But as they get to know each other they soon discover that they have more in common than they might think.

The story is seen through the dual narrative of Irish teenager Ruby and Syrian refugee Safia who’s just moved to Ireland with her mother. Safia has been given another chance at life and Ruby has been asked to look after her during her first week at school.

The story alternates between both teenage girls and gives an insight into the difficulties that both girls are facing and how these issues are strengthening their friendship. Ruby is the middle of three children, Orla is the oldest, a boisterous character whilst Robbie is the youngest who’s disabilities take up all of their parents times and leaves both Orla and Ruby frustrated and saddened by the lack of time and attention from their parents who are equally struggling. Whilst Ruby has two other best friends called Clara and Denise, Safia and Ruby become immediate friends with Ruby protective of her friend and racist comments that she’s exposed to.

Safia is trying to fit in and although she loves her new friends, she misses her dad dearly and prays for his safe journey to Ireland and is unaware of how much her new friends love her as they appeal to help her father.

As per Sinead’s previous books, ‘The New Girl’ is written with her warmth, charm and tackles issues such as racism, settling in, teenage pressure and disability. It is obvious that she thoroughly researched for the book and highlights the difference in religions, the way of life for refugees and the unimaginable horror that they have witnessed and the lengths they will go to get a better life. The scenes with Robbie also make for somewhat sad reading as both Orla and Ruby struggle with the guilt of their emotions towards their brother and the upheaval of the family, whilst Safia’s sweet singing is the only thing that keeps him happy.

The book was recently awarded Young Adult Book of the Year at the Irish Book awards and it’s worthy of the award, as I read it in one sitting!

It’s uplifting, inspirational and really shines a light on the refugee crisis that made for eye opening reading. On a side note, both Ruby’s friends Clara and Denise are also fascinating characters with their own backgrounds and I’d love to read more about them.

Beautifully written and captivating from the first page, ‘The New Girl’ is a heartwarming story of friendship, new beginnings and is a must read for all ages, not just young adults.

You can buy ‘The New Girl’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Sinead Moriarty Reveals New Book – About Us

About UsSomething was missing from 2020 and it was a new book from Sinead Moriarty. But great news as she’s returning to our bookshelves in 2021 with a new book called ‘About Us’.

What the back cover says –

Three couples. One therapist’s couch …

Alice and Niall used to be lovers, best friends and parents, in that order. Now they’re no longer on the same page or even reading from the same book.

Ann thought when she and Ken retired, it would be their second spring. Instead, it feels more like an icy winter.

Orla is falling in love with boyfriend Paul, but her complicated past makes her unsure if she can ever be intimate with anyone.

Three couples find themselves telling a stranger about the most private part of their lives – their hopes, their disappointments, their awkward realisations.

Can they learn to be honest with each other? And what life-changing decisions will be made when they do?

Sounds like another though provoking story Sinead that will be bit of an emotional rollercoaster!

You can pre-order ‘About Us’ from Amazon and will be available from good bookshops from 15th July 2021.

Many thanks
Bronagh

Our Little Cruelties By Liz Nugent

Our Little Cruelties‘Our Little Cruelties’ is latest book by bestselling Irish author, Liz Nugent.

Three brothers are at the funeral. One lies in the coffin. Will, Brian and Luke grow up competing for their mother’s unequal love. As men, the competition continues – for status, money, fame, women. They each betray each other, over and over, until one of them is dead. But which brother killed him?

Liz is back with another crime thriller that has the readers on the edge of their seats as they try to figure out who the bad guy is this Irish story of jealousy and greed.

The story is seen through the narrative of 3 brothers Will, Brian and Luke Drumm in the present moment when they are at the funeral of one of them. From the beginning, it is never clear which one is dead and that’s what pulls the reader in.

All the brothers are so different from each other. Will, the eldest of the brothers is a successful film maker, who’s the apple of their mother’s eyes. But despite his success, Will is a really dislikable character, a sexist narcissist who’s obsessed with his success and being better than his brothers. Brian, the middle brother, is the least creative of the trio but he’s content with leeching off his brothers success whilst Luke, the youngest has battled demons and addictions throughout his life. From his obsession with religion to his drug addiction, he’s a vulnerable character that people prey upon, particularly his brothers.

This book is a fascinating story, Liz has a fantastic skill of cleverly crafting a complex and thrilling story with such a range of deplorable and sympathetic characters. Set in bustling Dublin through the decades, Liz paints a vivid of the music and film scene in Ireland, that the reader really feels part of the story, from the queues of people at Slane to the glamorous film festivals.

The different narratives give an interesting insight to the brothers and their jealousy and resentment towards each other as they all move forward in their careers, relationship and lives.

‘Our Little Cruelties’ is a tense and deliciously dark and unsettling story about the dynamics and rivalries of the brotherhood.

You can buy ‘Our Little Cruelties’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

Sinead Moriarty Reveals New Book – Seven Letters

Seven Letters‘Sinead Moriarty has revealed her new book for 2019 called ‘Seven Letters’.

What the back cover says –

I Will Always Love You, Sweet Pea A mother’s promise to her little girl that when the new baby arrives, life will not change, only get better. The mother – Sarah – pours her heart into seven letters, one for every word. Five months into her pregnancy Sarah collapses and the beautiful life she dreamt of turns into a nightmare. With Sarah’s future, and the future of her pregnancy, in their hands, her husband and sister fiercely disagree about what the doctors should do. And the crisis reveals devastating fault-lines in the lives of the entire family. All the time the clock is ticking. The medics need a decision. Can her family get beyond the fog of grief and anger to figure out what’s for the best? And can it ever heal?

Sounds like another touching and heartbreaking story from one of Ireland’s favourite authors.

You can pre-order ‘Seven Letters’ from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 2nd May 2019.

Your Closest Friend By Karen Perry

Your Closest Friend‘Your Closest Friend’ is the latest book by Karen Perry.

Cara shouldn’t have survived the attack. But at the last moment, a stranger snatched her to safety. In the hours that followed she told this Good Samaritan secrets she’d never told a soul. Not even her husband. In the aftermath, Cara is home, healed and safe. Which is when the anonymous threats begin. Someone knows things about her they shouldn’t. Cara’s Good Samaritan offers to help her – to save her all over again. That night Cara made a friend for life. But what if she isn’t a friend at all?

‘Your Closest Friend’ is the second book that I’ve read by writing duo Paul Perry and Karen Gillece and I have to admit that I enjoyed it much more than the first book that I read by them.

This claustrophobic and intense thriller is set during a terrorist attack in London when two strangers meet for the first time, when Amy rescues Cara and gives her sanctuary in her workplace. It’s in this short time that the pair of them talk, telling their fears and secrets as they fear for their lives. When Cara says goodbye to Amy, she never expects to see or hear from Amy again, but Amy has gotten herself a lot more involved in Cara’s life than Cara imagined and finds herself suddenly with a new close friend. As Cara’ tries to move forward from that fateful day that she met Amy, she finds her life suddenly spiralling out of control as she begins to receive strange messages from ‘Your Closest Friend’. Meanwhile, Amy is delighted to have met Cara and is convinced that fate has brought them together, no matter how much Cara protests.

The story is cleverly written through the narrative of both Amy and Cara and give an interesting insight into their personalities. Cara is calm and collected, trying to move on from that night and play the perfect mother/wife whilst Amy is consumed by it. The pair of them are intriguing characters, Cara is mysterious and gives little away whilst Amy is compulsive and wild. She’s come from a troubled background and right from the outset, the reader can see that her troubled past has really affected her. She’s obsessed with Cara and occasionally, this does make for unsettling reading as she regularly tries to prove her love for Cara with disastrous results.

Dark, bleak and very atmospheric, this book is a troubling and gripping story of love and obsession, taunt with a strong storyline, narrative and unnerving characters, this story makes for creepy reading, ‘Your Closest Friend’ is a twisted tale about how far a person will go for love.

You can buy Your Closest Friend from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.