Even before I married a boy of Celtic descent and acquired the
right proper name of O'Hara, I was always drawn to the stories of
the Irish, with their balance between reverence and irreverence,
wit and misery. So when I was offered IRISH GIRLS ABOUT TOWN, a
collection of short tales by sixteen of today's premiere and rising
star female Irish authors, I replied "of course." And I am glad I
Joan O'Neill's "De-Stress" asks the age-old question, "Can one
really mend a broken heart by falling into the arms of an
incredibly handsome, tall young man with black hair and
Mediterranean-blue eyes with biceps the size of babies' heads?"
Apparently, yes, one can.
Every woman will find herself nodding her head in agreement as she
reads Catherine Barry's "The Twenty Eighth Day." Read on: "I know I
have PMT (PMS). I know what it is. I know why it happens. I know
all about the hormonal imbalance. But all the knowledge in the
world will not abate the terrific storm that looms in our normally
happy abode. I know it passes and I know I can't help the way I
feel. All the same, it doesn't stop me from wanting to stick a
knife in Michael's eye."
Tessa, "desperate to get married," is Mary Ryan's "A Good Catch,"
an innocent. She moves out on her own, late in life, determined to
find a husband and instead finds herself unknowingly living next
door to a prostitute. Naïve to the end, even after discovering
who her neighbor is, Tessa refuses to see it.
In Marian Keyes's "Soulmates," Georgia and Joel are the perfect
couple. Born on the same day in the same year in the same city, how
could they not be meant for each other? They move in together,
marry and have children; in other words, they make all the
predictable steps a couple is expected to make, only they do them
perfectly. No matter what the rite of passage, none of their
friends can top how Georgia and Joel pull it off. But then there's
that pesky old adage 'all good things must come to an end.' And
when the couple begins to question if they were even born on the
same day, life unravels...perfectly.
That's just a sampling --- a quarter of the stories --- that await
you in IRISH GIRLS ABOUT TOWN. If you enjoy the charm of Irish
literature like I do, then you will love this collection of Maeve
Binchy, Sarah Webb, Tina Reilly and others.
Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara on January 22, 2011
Irish Girls About Town