Leah's Reviews > A Greyhound of a Girl

A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle
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Apr 17, 2012

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bookshelves: 2012, ireland, contemporary, fiction, paranormal, young-adult, ghosts, for-review-netgalley
Read from April 17 to 19, 2012

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Before I started reading A Greyhound of a Girl, I had assumed it would be your average coming-of-age tale - and in many cases it is. What I wasn't expecting, however, was the supernatural element. Ha, and I really have no idea what that is; I suppose I wasn't paying attention when reading the summary?

A Greyhound of a Girl is the story of four women: Tansey (short for Anastasia), who died when she was just 25; Emer, Tansey's 80-year old daughter who was just three when Tansey passed away; Scarlett, Emer's daughter; and Mary, Scarlett's 12-year old daughter. Although Mary is the central character, the other three play equally vital roles and reading about each one - particularly Emer and Tansey - was a joy.

Mary's very best friend Ava just moved out of their neighbor and into another part of Dublin. Understandably, Mary is distraught until an odd woman suddenly 'moves in.' She looks young, but gives off the impression she's much older. Her speech and dress certainly give Mary pause, though she finds it comforting. After a few meetings, Mary discovers this is her grandmother's mother. A real ghost has come to visit.

Although Tansey never left her daughter's side, it is only now she feels the need to make her presence known. She knows her daughter's time is nearly up and wants to help her through. The moments with Tansey and Emer were absolutely lovely. In fact, the entire books could have been solely about them and I would have loved it!

A Greyhound of a Girl executes the multiple narrative flawlessly. I'm actually one of the oddballs who enjoys multi POVs. Unfortunately, not all authors handle this well, but Mr. Doyle did a superb job. Not only were there dual narratives, but these women lived during different eras. Definitely my favorite aspect of this book.

Where the novel lost points was in the characters' speech. I lost track of the number of times Mary said 'like.' Sometimes she said it more than once in a sentence! Also, 'so' and 'grand.' Scarlett quickly became my least favorite character and it was her manner of speaking that sealed the deal. Nearly every sentence ended with an exclamation point. There were a few instances where Mary pointed this out, and the dialogue looked like:
"What happened to the !!!s?" said Mary.
"What?"
"The !!!s" said Mary.

&
"Even your whispers end in !!!s" Mary whispered back.


It came to the point where I no longer found it cute or funny.

Overall, A Greyhound of a Girl is a sweet story about mothers and daughters that can easily be read in a single sitting.
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Reading Progress

04/17/2012 page 20
8.93% "Good so far but Mary says 'like' WAY too much. Multiple times a sentence even..."
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