A novel inside a novel-- the contemporary story examines (pseudo-)friendship and betrayal, and was interesting enough; wasn't too enthralled with the historical back-story involving an anarchist and her sister.
Good writing. For example: "I come from a place where breath, eyes and memory are one, a place from which you carry your past like the hair on your head. Where women return to their children as butterflies or as tears in the eyes of the statues that their daughters pray to."
Very twisted and insane story told by a demented young boy who surely needs some Ritalin. Patrick McCabe is a very talented writer and this novel was nominated for the Booker prize; it is a little hard to follow at times, between Francie's disjointed narrative and his madness, but well worth the effort.
Another "coming of age" novel but this is one of the more memorable ones. i really liked the main character and felt a lot of sympathy for her being stuck with the family she was, although as you read they do have redeeming qualities, like most people in the world I guess.
This is a GREAT novel. And I didn't read it because anyone forced me either. People try to make it out to be such an intimidating book, but the language is easy to understand (unlike say Charles Dickens or Jane Austen), after a while you get used to all the Russian names, and it's a fabulous, fascinating story.
I just finished reading this and it was the most original, wonderfully written story I have read in a long time. It brought out a lot of emotion in me; this book makes you sympathize with seemingly unredeemable personalities. If you're looking for a happy ending or any kind of romance, this isn't for you. But I recommend highly to anyone who wants a fascinating literary experience that sucks you in and keeps you absorbed until the very last page.