The Parish Church of St George the Martyr, Waterlooville


It is always particularly pleasing to find an exceptional book, the sort that wraps you up in its pages, carries you along and stays with you long after the last word on the last page has been finished.

Somewhat intrigued by the explanatory notes on the jacket, I started to read A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle. Although aimed at older children, I believe other adults would be enthralled by it too.

Set in the Republic of Ireland, it follows the intertwining stories of four generations of an appealing Irish family. Twelve-year-old Mary, full of mixed emotions, meets a mysterious woman just outside her house. The stranger not only knows Mary’s name, she knows that her beloved grandmother is ill in hospital and she gives Mary a message to give to her. She seemed familiar. Scarlett, Mary’s mother, knew her. So too does Emer, Mary’s Grandmother but who is the strangely dressed woman who gives her name as Tansey?

I especially loved the way the writer enabled the Irish accent to come through the pages. It was possible to ‘hear’ the words being spoken. The occasional dips back into the past for each of the characters provided interesting and important insight. A beautiful, sensitive story culminating in a healing night car journey back to the past to help accept the future.

Roddy Doyle was a schoolteacher before becoming a writer. He has written many adult novels and five children’s books including Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha for which he won the Booker Prize in 1993. He lives with his family in Dublin.

Happy summer reading everyone!

Lynn Winter

Summer Edition 2012

Book Corner