A Review of “Small Things Like These” by Claire Keegan: a powerful historical fiction about teen pregnancies
Bound2Books » Irish
by Hope Lee
4M ago
This book has been hard to get. It was sold out in most book stores and my library had a hold list that looked like it was never going to end. Small Things Like These was selected for my summer book club, and I was desperate to get my hands on it. I managed to find it squirreled away in a local bookstore and I made sure I got it there and then. Claire Keegan’s book is rather short and I would consider it to be a novella (short novel) which also makes it perfect for a light Christmas/Holiday read. In fact, you could easily make yourself a nice pot of tea and finish this novella in a quiet afte ..read more
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A Review of Donal Ryan’s “Strange Flowers”: race and sexuality in 1970s Ireland
Bound2Books » Irish
by Hope Lee
4M ago
I find there is just something so calming about Irish writing and storytelling. Somehow, whenever I pick up an Irish author, I feel like I’m suddenly transported to a dimly lit pub, with a warm drink, and an old friend telling me a story. In many ways, Donal Ryan’s novel Strange Flowers is like that. This novel is short, which makes it a great quick read if you are looking for something a bit easy to get through. It is an intergenerational story that starts in the 1970s in Nenagh, in County Tipperary, which is on the border with Northern Ireland. The conflict between Northern Ireland, Ireland ..read more
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Review of Niall Williams “This Is Happiness”: when the rain stops in Faha
Bound2Books » Irish
by Hope Lee
4M ago
Paperback book This is Happiness by Niall Williams in front of an indoor plant (triostar stromanthe). There has been a lot happening in my life of late. It has been difficult to juggle everything, including writing for this blog. Cancer has re-entered our family and I have a very dear and close loved one dealing with this awful disease. It has thrown me off balance and opened up some old wounds. In the time of covid, it has made everything harder – including cross border travel. It has reminded me to be humble and see the beauty in life and everything that it can offer. It has taught me to hug ..read more
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Reading Class: A review of Sally Rooney’s “Normal People”
Bound2Books » Irish
by Hope Lee
4M ago
Book cover of Sally Rooney’s Normal People. That’s money, the substance that makes the world real. There’s something so corrupt and sexy about it. Sally Rooney’s novel, Normal People, follows the lives of Connell and Marianne, two high school students from Sligo, West Ireland, and their journey’s of self discovery, love, and friendship. The story is built on the foundations of class barriers between Connell and Marianne and the subsequent misunderstandings they have over these social divisions. Connell’s mother works as a cleaner for Marianne’s family. From the beginning of the novel, this d ..read more
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Understanding Black Hair Culture: a review of Emma Dabiri’s “Don’t Touch My Hair”
Bound2Books » Irish
by Hope Lee
4M ago
Book cover of Emma Dabiri’s Don’t Touch My Hair Emma Dabiri’s part memoir part scholarly investigation of African hair culture in and outside of African countries is close to my research heart. I have always been fascinated by female hair and beauty and the culture around it. So much so, that I wrote my master’s thesis on Black hair. Female hair and beauty are considered essential parts of the female condition, yet these same essentials are also points for ridicule and mockery in society as they are frivolous things. Coupled with that are the more sinister intentions to control, divide, and ha ..read more
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Millennials and Money: a review of Sally Rooney’s “Conversations With Friends”
Bound2Books » Irish
by Hope Lee
4M ago
Book cover of Sally Rooney’s debut novel Conversations With Friends Conversations With Friends was Sally Rooney’s debut novel published in 2017. Set in Ireland, the story follows the closely-knit and complicated relationships of Frances and Bobbi, who are both university students in their early 20s, and Melissa and Nick, a married couple in their early 30s. With these two couples, Rooney already offers up a millennial mirror with which each side—Frances and Bobbie/Melissa and Nick—can study the other. The intermingling of these lives, loves, and bank accounts proffer a fascinating look at fina ..read more
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“When All Is Said”: a review of Anne Griffin’s knockout debut novel
Bound2Books » Irish
by Hope Lee
4M ago
Note: plot spoilers and discussions of death by suicide. Cafes and side streets of Dublin Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links. Clicking through for additional information or to make a purchase may result in a small commission. In February this year, I had the chance to go to Ireland for a long weekend. I’ve been threatening to visit Ireland for years and it was amazing to finally be able to make that happen. Ireland is full of amazing literary nooks and even the famous Temple Bar has academic roots with Sir William Temple (philosopher and teacher) founding the bar in 1599. Temple ..read more
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