Rachel's Reviews > The Blood Miracles

The Blood Miracles by Lisa McInerney
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it was amazing
bookshelves: irish, own, 2018, literary-fiction, favorites

Apparently this is an unpopular opinion, but I loved this just as much as The Glorious Heresies. I understand why a lot of people didn't. The Glorious Heresies is dark but it still retains a lot of signature Irish humor, and some warmth along with that. The Blood Miracles on the other hand is just a black tragedy. It picks up where McInerney's previous novel left off, but it follows the thread of only one of the protagonists (though a few others play peripheral roles). And it was an interesting choice to shift from following five characters to following only one, but I have no complaints here as McInerney picked the right one.

I can't think of any character I've read recently who I love as much as Ryan Cusack. Ryan is a drug dealer, both his own worst enemy and a victim of circumstance as he was raised by his abusive alcoholic father after his mother's death. While The Glorious Heresies thoroughly examined Ryan's relationship with his father and the near impossibility of breaking out of the life of crime and poverty that he's been raised into, The Blood Miracles shifts the focus to another aspect of Ryan's identity - the Italian side he inherited from his mother. As his boss Dan brokers a deal with the Italian Camorra and forces Ryan into the role of translator, Ryan faces conflicts both internal and external, as he tries to forge a place for himself in this new enterprise without alienating his concerned girlfriend Karine.

The main reason I imagine The Blood Miracles hasn't gone over as well as The Glorious Heresies is that the only plot here revolves around the intricacies of drug dealing and Irish gang dynamics, and if you tried to sell this book to me with that pitch alone I can't say I'd be terribly excited about it. But I think it's a testament to McInerney's skill that I was riveted. She expertly peels back the layers of contemporary Irish society to reveal its dark underworld, infusing her narration with Cork dialect to lend it a vibrant authenticity. This book is brutally, unflinchingly honest in a way that I find so refreshing.

I just adore McInerney's writing. I love her distinctly unpolished style, her flawed and vulnerable and occasionally loathsome characters, her skill at tying together personal and social conflicts. This book is even darker and more violent than its predecessor and I wouldn't recommend it to everyone, but if any of that appeals to you, I cannot recommend these books highly enough. I'm not sure if she's planning on writing more in this series, but I thought the ending was perfect - it ties up all loose ends while still leaving the door open if she chooses to continue Ryan's story. I really hope she does.
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Reading Progress

June 3, 2017 – Shelved
June 3, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
June 4, 2017 – Shelved as: irish
December 25, 2017 – Shelved as: own
June 17, 2018 – Started Reading
June 17, 2018 – Shelved as: 2018
June 17, 2018 – Shelved as: literary-fiction
June 24, 2018 –
page 122
40.13%
June 29, 2018 – Finished Reading
July 13, 2018 – Shelved as: favorites

Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 new)

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Kristin (KC) - Traveling Sister Stellar review, Rachel! Glad you enjoyed another by this author. I'm going to check out her books now...


Rachel Kristin (KC) - Traveling Sister wrote: "Stellar review, Rachel! Glad you enjoyed another by this author. I'm going to check out her books now..."

I only wish she were more prolific - she only has 2 published novels but I'm looking forward to whatever she does next! The Glorious Heresies is really really brilliant, I hope you enjoy it. x


message 3: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah Great review, Rachel! The Glorious Heresies is up soon on my to read list, and I have a copy of this one too... so I'm really glad to hear this is as good :)


Rachel Sarah wrote: "Great review, Rachel! The Glorious Heresies is up soon on my to read list, and I have a copy of this one too... so I'm really glad to hear this is as good :)"

Thank you! I really look forward to hearing your thoughts on The Glorious Heresies.


message 5: by Meike (last edited Oct 22, 2019 01:23PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Meike Totally agree regarding McInerney's ability to depict complex characters - Ryan Cusack is a fantastic protagonist!


Rachel Meike wrote: "Totally agree regarding McInerney's ability to depict complex characters - Ryan Cusack is a fantastic protagonist!"

He is unforgettable! Years after reading The Glorious Heresies I still think about him.


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