The Fields by Kevin Maher
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
'Dublin, 1984: Ireland is a divided country, the Parish Priest remains a figure of immense authority and Jim Finnegan is thirteen years old, the youngest in a family of five sisters. Life in Jim's world consists of dealing with the helter-skelter intensity of his rumbustious family, taking breakneck bike rides with his best friend, and quietly coveting the local girls from afar. But after a drunken yet delicate rendition of 'The Fields of Athenry' at the Donohues' raucous annual party, Jim captures both the attention of the beautiful Saidhbh Donohue and the unwanted desires of the devious and dangerous Father Luke O'Culigeen.
Bounced between his growing love for Saidhbh and his need to avoid the dreaded O'Culigeen, Jim's life starts to unravel. He and Saidhbh take a ferry for a clandestine trip to London that has dark and difficult repercussions, forcing Jim to look for the solution to all his problems in some very unusual places.'
This was a book that was sent to me to review, this was something that I had not requested and knew nothing about. Saying that I am always willing to try new books so was keen to get started.
This book follows a boy called Jim, he is thirteen and we learn about him growing up on the 80's in Ireland. There was a lot going on in the book, it is full of drama right from the fist page to get you sucked into the book.
From the back cover of the book there are quotes that suggest the book is 'laugh -out - loud funny on every page', I did not find this, it is a serious book with a serious subject matter, I felt that this quote is misleading.
The book is quite fast paced and this could be because there is so much going on, however at times when Jim is jumping back and forth with his memories it became a little confusing.
I didn't really enjoy this book and it took me a very long time to finish, I think that it just wasn't my type of book. I found that the subject matter was very dark and disturbing, something that I do not like reading.
Saying this the book is well written and as a debut author I feel Maher took a chance in this book, it was not a safe bet as a debut, the only negative of this I would say was the ending. I found the book on the whole a bit tricky to get into and found that I could not connect to Jim.
I have not wanted to say too much about this book as personally I didn't enjoy it and I don't want to influence others, it is one of those books I feel you just need to read for yourself. It has stayed with me for a while after reading it due to the subject matter.