Sunday, 28 September 2008

Someone Special by Sheila O'Flanagan

Headline Review €12.99
STEP-FAMILIES have been an ideal - in fiction anyway - since The Brady Bunch. You have two, I have two, we have one together, and everyone's ecstatic.
But in Sheila O'Flanagan's Someone Special, the Dolan family regard half-sister Roma Kilkenny as an interloper.
The Dolans are an unusual thing in today's Ireland - the proprietors of a family business.
Stodgy Darragh inherited the reins from his father. The one who should have got the job, everyone feels, is accountant Kathryn.
Half-sister Romy is outside it all; she's in Ireland to mind her mother briefly, but her heart is back in Australia.
I read on, not really knowing what it was all about, apart from the fact that the Dolan-Kilkenny clan were invariably nasty to each other.
A lot of the action takes place in people's heads. It seems a book that might have been much better if the first draft was ditched and a new, sharper one written.
But then you come to the last 100 pages, and the pace speeds up. Suddenly you're whipping through the story, eager to know what's going to happen.
Will Alan, Kathryn's violent husband, drag her back to servitude in America? Will Darragh edge the others out of the firm? Will the warring siblings find each other? I couldn't stop reading.

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