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Publisher's Summary

Does the middle child in a family always get a raw deal?

Certainly life is not straightforward for Fiona O'Connell. With her older brother out at work, she is often left in charge at home, dealing with the terror of her little twin sisters, Mona and Rona, and their line-dancing routines. She finds her escape in her books, her art and her blossoming friendship with Jaz, the Sikh boy at school.

Then, one day her mother goes into hospital to have her fifth child. And she never comes home. Her death in childbirth feels like something that happened in Victorian times - surely not in Glasgow in the 21st century. For Fiona, life will never be the same again.

©2008 Anne Donovan; (P)2008 Isis Publishing Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A tender, lyrical coming-of-age narrative." (Guardian)
"Fiona O’Connell is no fevered heroine roaming the moors. She is a working-class, Catholic Glaswegian lass who oversees the care of her large family after her mother dies in childbirth. Though the death of the mother is often a handy plot device, it’s easy to forgive here, as the other relationships are so carefully drawn. Imagine a cocktail of a book that is one-quarter of each of the following writers, shaken and stirred into a new heady froth: Roddy Doyle, Hanif Kureishi, Irvine Welsh, and Louise Rennison. Katy Anderson's narration of this is a gift to the universe." Mary Welp

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  • Mary
  • Louisville, KY, United States
  • 01-24-11

What sings here is the Glasgow dialect

Fiona O’Connell is no fevered heroine roaming the moors. She is a working-class, Catholic Glaswegian lass who oversees the care of her large family after her mother dies in childbirth. Though the death of the mother is often a handy plot device, it’s easy to forgive here, as the other relationships are so carefully drawn. Imagine a cocktail of a book that is one-quarter of each of the following writers, shaken and stirred into a new heady froth: Roddy Doyle, Hanif Kureishi, Irvine Welsh, and Louise Rennison. Katy Anderson's narration of this is a gift to the universe.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Carolyn
  • jackson, WY, United States
  • 09-21-11

Terrible Narrator

I tried to get into this book; however, it was so difficult to understand the Brogue accent that I had to stop listening.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-08-14

Better to listen to than read

This was our book club book for the month - everyone that listened to it enjoyed it more than those who read it - so I did a bit of both I could see why. Reading scottish dialect makes commonly used words seem strange so you had to think whilst reading whilst it was so obvious when listening to it! I really enjoyed most of the accents - perhaps with the exception of the art teacher! It provided lots of interesting discussion and a wide range of opinions.

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