Renae's Reviews > Bog Child

Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd
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's review
May 10, 2011

really liked it
Read from May 10 to 21, 2011 , read count: 1

I picked this up for two reasons:
1. A morbid fascination with the bog people they've dug up from time to time in the peat bogs of Ireland.
2. The realization that I know exactly NOTHING about the recent history of Ireland.

I love reading about times I don't know anything about. This was definitely a hook for me. Set in Ireland in the early 80's, it was a time when the IRA was active against occupying British troops. I don't normally like politically-focused conflict, but I had a hard time putting this down.

1. Dowd clearly wrote this for an Irish audience. The vernacular and vocabulary fairly ring with that heavy Irish brogue, so much so that I could hear the lilt of the text in my head. It didn't matter that I didn't know what a lough was.
2. The alternating narratives of the history of the bog child and Fergus' story meshed very well.
3. Multiple revelations that unite the texts (the first on p. 200) send the narrative spiraling to the end.
4. Name choice of the main character: Fergus = "Man of strength." I'd known this already, and it fits beautifully with the narrative.

1. I wished for more explanation of the politics. This is a rare want for me. But I found myself wanting to know more about the before and after. Hardly a flaw on Dowd's part (and it's a shame she's dead, because I want to read more of her writing).

Fascinating. Free-flowing. Achingly poignant.

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05/10/2011 page 66
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