4 October 2011

Book Review: Finding Mr Flood by Ciara Geraghty

Dara Flood always says the most interesting thing about her life happened before she was born. Thirteen days before she came into the world, her father walked up the road and never came back. Now Dara lives an uncomplicated life. Pizza with friends on Wednesday, salsa class on a Friday, and Saturday nights with her boyfriend. Some might say it's safe. But it's exactly the way she likes it. And apart from the odd, fleeting moment, she's never thought about the man who abandoned her family. Then her sister gets sick, and Dara's carefully ordered life falls apart. Suddenly ahe must find the father who could be their last hope. As she uncovers some truths about her father, and herself, Dara learns that to let life in, sometimes you just have to let go . . .

This is the third of Ciara Geraghty's books that I have read, and while her debut novel Saving Grace was absolutely brilliant, sadly her second read didn't quite match up to that for me. I hoped therefore I would have more success with this one, Finding Mr Flood. I really liked the cover, its quite plain but I love that the title of the book is so prominent, and I think it's a very classy cover. It's quite a long book, one I felt I had to sit down and really enjoy rather than picking it up and putting it down, but it was still an enjoyable book. There are few niggles that brought it down for me, and while it isn't as good as Ciara's debut novel, it's still well worth a read!
 Geraghty seems to have that warmth that a lot of Irish authors have, and if you're a fan of Marian Keyes, or other Irish authors like her, then I'm sure you will like Ciara Geraghty's work too.

The book is about Dara Flood, and her sister Angel. Angel is very sick, and has nobody around to help her get better as neither Dara or her mother are a match for the kidney Angel so desperately needs. Therefore, Dara decides to seek out the father who left them all when Mrs Flood was heavily pregnant with Dara. They don't know anything about the elusive Mr Flood, so hire Stanley, a private detective to help hunt him down. The book really focuses on Dara, and although it's written in the third person, the book almost entirely follows her, except for the odd scenes with Stanley and his personal life. Dara was likeable enough for a main character, although I did find her relationship with "boyfriend" Ian Harte a bit strange and awkward to be honest. However, her dedication and love for her sister was wonderful to read, and Geraghty has really captured a fantastic sisterly relationship in this book, and its nice to see how far Dara is prepared is to go for her sick sister.

Stanley is a bit of a character, that's for sure. He is a private detective by trade, but I have to say doesn't seem to be great at it. That being said, he is a lovely character and although I could sort of see how things would pan out for him around halfway through the book, it didn't matter because I really liked him and thought he was a nice male addition to the cast of the book, and worked really well in his scenes with Dara especially. His own personal story was a little sad, and adds to the overall maudlin tone of the book, but I was hoping Stanley would finally stand up for himself! I have to mention Sissy, Stanley's flatmate who is just brilliant, and I absolutely love the phrase "dinner-ding" because of her! She's a bit of much needed comic relief and was a great inclusion to the book.

The story was quite sad in parts, because of course we don't know if Angel is going to make it or not, and it's hard to read the pain that the three Flood women are going through when looking for a kidney for Angel. As a mum, it's your worst nightmare for something like this for your child so I felt really sorry for poor Mrs Flood. Due to the nature of the story, it's quite a sad book, there are a few lighter moments but it isn't an overly happy read and combine that with the length of the book, you can get a bit bogged down in it at times, I did feel like I needed a break from it occasionally. That being said, it was well written and Geraghty had definitely done her research across the topic of end stage renal failure, and also the heartache and pain in finding a missing member of your family. I did enjoy this one, there were just a few things that let it down for me. Definitely one to persevere with and read over a few days.

Rating: 3.5/5

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