Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Misremembered Man by Christina McKenna ***

Two posts in one day!  Wooo hooo!  I'm trying to make up for some lost time here, since I've been a real slacker recently.  I got a new Kindle for my birthday this year (my old one had a very unfortunate accident that we won't mention...) & I was excited to see that if you join Amazon Prime you can access the Kindle Lenders Library, which means I can read one of those titles a month for free.  Pretty nice, especially since I've been locked out of my library account & can't borrow any ebooks at the moment (don't ask about that either, it's a long story involving fines.  I'm basically a mess right now.).  I didn't consider the titles, just went with the first one that looked decent to me & that's how I ended up with this book.
The setting is 1975 in rural northern Ireland & Jamie McCloone is mourning the loss of his beloved Uncle Mick.  At 41 years old he's rather set in his ways, but loneliness & the demons from his past force him to try to find some companionship.  Lydia Devine is tired of being her mother's keeper.  When an invitation to a school friend's wedding comes in the mail she realizes that finding a date for the event could be the beginning of a new life for her.  Both Jamie & Lydia's lives intersect when their well meaning friends suggest they look at the "Lonely Hearts" ads in the local newspaper.  With a series of comedic-& sometimes almost tragic-errors, the two lonely 40-somethings slowly make their ways towards each other.
The descriptions of loneliness & also of the hideous conditions in Irish orphanages are some of the best parts of this book.  It's painful to think of any child having to go through what the main character does as a child, but when you multiply that by 100's & realize that most of the orphans didn't ever get a forever home like Jaime did, you realize what a tragic place Ireland was for many people. 
I was a little irritated by what seemed to me like the stereotypical accents & typical characterizations of the characters, but that was easy for me to get over as I read the book.  Overall I recommend The Misremembered Man.  Not a great work of literature, mind you, but a touching story about family & finding them where you can.

No comments: