Tuesday, 3 November 2009
Jumping in Puddles by Claire Allan
I need a box of chocs and a girly story
Look no further, my dear: a box of Lily O’Brien’s best and Jumping in Puddles, the story of a group of lone parents in a Donegal village putting their lives back together.
Village full of gossip?
You have no idea. Ciara is 17 and won’t tell anyone her baby’s father’s name - not even her mam, who’s helping her bring up the sprog. The poor kid has left school and gone to work in the village shop, run by the local dragon.
Worst thing I can imagine
Maybe, maybe not. Niamh (why do authors give characters lookalike names? Ciara… Niamh - confusing for readers!) is mourning her perfect husband. He’s left her rich and living in their dream home, but she’s shattered. And about to be more so.
And no one to talk to?
Until Niamh and Ciara - and Ruth and Liam - join Detta O’Neill’s support group for lone parents, to the fascinated delight of the village. Ruth and Liam’s spouses have run off with each other, by the way.
Yikes! Makes a bond, though
Liam is dead solid, an old-fashioned Irishman who likes his fried breakfast and his traditional values. Unfortunately, his mother loathes his ex. All he wants is Laura back and his life the way it used to be.
Know the feeling
Socially ambitious Laura and bossy bank official James, Ruth’s ex, seem perfectly suited. But as Ruth knows, there’s more to James than meets the eye. Ruth is a weepy, downtrodden type who’s bullied by her bold strap of a teenage daughter, and worried about her sons.
Kids? These poor souls have kids?
The kids are the centre of the story - the Loony Lone Parents (as they nickname themselves) grow into a strong group who help each other with their children and their rapidly changing lives.
Rattling good yarn?
If RTE have any sense, they’ll buy this and turn it into a fab series and sell it internationally.