Bog Child

Narrated by: Sile Bermingham
Length: 8 hrs and 42 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (31 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Digging for peat in the mountain with his Uncle Tally, Fergus finds the body of a child, and it looks like she's been murdered. As Fergus tries to make sense of the mad world around him - his brother on hunger-strike in prison, his growing feelings for Cora, his parents arguing over the Troubles, and him in it up to the neck, blackmailed into acting as courier to God knows what - a little voice comes to him in his dreams, and the mystery of the bog child unfurls.

Bog Child is an astonishing novel exploring the sacrifices made in the name of peace, and the unflinching strength of the human spirit.

©2009 Siobhan Dowd (P)2009 Random House

Critic Reviews

"Dowd raises questions about moral choices within a compelling plot that is full of surprises." ( Publishers Weekly)
"This compelling read is lyrically written and contains authentic dialogue and challenging and involving moral issues." ( School Library Journal)
"A strong story that is rich in language, setting, and theme." ( Booklist)

What listeners say about Bog Child

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Hidden gem

Read for 2018 Read Harder Challenge categories a book published posthumously and a book of colonial or postcolonial literature. Yes I consider Northern Ireland postcolonial. Fergus McCann is 18, living on the border of Northern Ireland in 1981, trying to pass A levels and cope with IRA pressure and a brother in prison. After finding a 2,000 year old body of a girl in a peat bog, he dreams of her life while muddling through his own. This book is very focused on Fergus and he is just a great character, I loved reading him. There is a lot going on in his life but this book is not one of those YA tragic dramas. It's subdued, you're just getting through the day to day with Fergus. It's also quite funny and sweet. "Michael crossed one leg over the other and put his hand around the back of Fergus’s seat. ‘Me and the lads,’ he said casually. ‘We’ve been wondering. If we can count you in?’ He said it as if he was inviting Fergus on a fishing expedition. ‘Count me in?’ ‘You know.’ Michael’s hand circled the air, like a royal wave." The only downside was that in the audiobook it's hard to tell when things are happening in Mel's voice-- those sections are italicized in the book but the reader doesn't differentiate them much. The reader has a beautiful lilting voice.

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing poignant

This was an amazing young adult novel to read. The author threaded three narrative together into one fantastic story.

1 person found this helpful

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Just okay

Bog child narrates a few months in the life of Fergus, a teenager in Northern Ireland during the troubles, as he navigates studies, love, and the anguish of his dear brother being in prison. He has found an ancient body, perfectly preserved, in the bog. This body speaks to him in his dreams, and despite being an atheist -- and presumably a materialist -- he is profoundly affected by these visitations, I guess. The writing was really quite good. Nice style. It's what convinced me to try the audiobook in the first place. The narrator is so so. Her reading is fine. Her Irish accent is fine (for Heaven's sake, do NOT pick up this audiobook if you don't like Irish accents). But there is less variety in her character voices than I might've liked, and when she tries to mimic other accents, it's a bit embarrassing. Over all, I was kind of disappointed. The setting seemed under utilized. The messaging is a little trite. Everyone is either reticent or cynical about The Cause. Those who make tremendous sacrifices are said to do so because "It's their decision". Violence is always senseless, and reasons are always just a pretext. But these people did have reasons and, right or wrong, I'd have like to have known their motives, just a little. Mostly I was just bored. Maybe if I was eighteen again, I'd have felt differently. Don't know.

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didn't like story or ascent of narrator

didn't like story or ascent of narrator struggled to finish narrator ascent was hard to listen too

1 person found this helpful