Dearbháil Clarke's Reviews > Perfectly Preventable Deaths

Perfectly Preventable Deaths by Deirdre Sullivan
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it was amazing

I adored this book, but before going further I want to stress the main content warnings: this book has three quite gruesome instances of human and animal abuse and follows an abusive relationship, so take care. I knew what I was getting into and still, there's a scene towards the end of the book (p.295) that set my heart racing. Deirdre Sullivan is not messing around with this book, it gets DARK.

The atmosphere of this book is lush and thick, and Deirdre Sullivan's writing is so careful and compelling that it will pull you right into the strange world of Ballyfrann (or Béal Ifreann - Mouth of Hell). This is not an action-packed book, but the slow and steady building of unease and unpicking of mystery rises beautifully up to the climax - which feels sudden and inevitable at the same time. This book always keeps you guessing.

I loved the queer content, which felt like such an innocent and beautiful antidote to the growing sickness of the primary conflict. There is such an authenticity to every aspect of this book: the passion, the anxiety, the abuse, the confusion, the loneliness. It pulled me right back to my teenage years, and not solely because of the damning indictment of pretentious kids who read Bukowski and wear ankhs (I laughed, but I also felt uncomfortably seen...)

This book is a beautiful tapestry that weaves the beautiful into the terrible, the funny into the grave, the familiar into the strange. It will have you grabbing your salt shaker and wondering if there's something bigger at play in our universe...

PS: There are a few instances in the book where the protagonist eats meat for dinner and the author's vegetarianism is clear -her description makes the act of chewing on animal flesh feel SO GROSS. I would probably give up meat if I hadn't already!)
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
June 13, 2019 – Shelved

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