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10 thoughts on “A Greyhound of a Girl

  1. says:

    3.5 Stars Do ghosts drink tea They don t, said Tansey But this ghost would love to see a cup of tea in front of her It d be lovely This book was so sweet I know that sounds like an Oh God, what can I call this book Quick gimme a word, gimme Ahh, sweet will do but it really isn t It truly was sweet.As the synopsis says, this is a story about mums sorry mams and daughters and the connection between them.I wish this story had been told solely from Tansey and Emer s perspective because I felt those were the strongest sections.The story thread that was set in the present, although it did have some very sweet parts and proved incredibly useful to me re How to smuggle a ghost into a hospital, began to grate after a while.I just felt that Tansey and Emer had a bit spunk to them than Mary and Scarlett Maybe this was because their stories were a lot fleshed out I just adored the feel of these chapters.What I did love about this book was the portrayal of mums and matriarchal love I often think that in both YA and MG books, mums tend to get a really rough deal They re either screaming harpies with unreasonably strict rules or completely absent But all these mums, both past and present, were so strong and so feisty.So yeah, I m sticking with my original conclusion This book was incredibly sweet And it has encouraged me to start saying grand in every day conversations I received this book from the publishers


  2. says:

    Mary O Hara is a sharp and cheeky 12 year old Dublin schoolgirl who is bravely facing the fact that her beloved Granny is dying But Granny can t let go of life, and when a mysterious young woman turns up in Mary s street with a message for her Granny, Mary gets pulled into an unlikely adventure The woman is the ghost of Granny s own mother, who has come to help her daughter say good bye to her loved ones and guide her safely out of this world She needs the help of Mary and her mother, Scarlett, who embark on a road trip to the past Four generations of women travel on a midnight car journey One of them is dead, one of them is dying, one of them is driving, and one of them is just starting out.This succeeded very well for what it was a sweet little generational story about four Irish women If you re expecting than that then you re going to be disappointed If you don t like dialogue then stay far, far away In fact, that summary up there That is this entire book save twenty ish pages It doesn t get complicated than that.However, this book is effortlessly charming and sweet Mary, truly is a witty, cheeky, little girl and her conversations with her mother, grandmother and ghostly great grandmother are very amusing The strength of these four powerhouse characters is what keeps this novel together.I did have some issues with the book though Some of the dialogue is downright nonsensical and this book should come with a warning for gratuitous use of punctuation.Mary s mother, Scarlett, talks like this for most of the novel Mary It was her mother How was school Stupid She went straight past her mother, into the hall What s your hurry I m starving It s not long before Mary says what we re all thinking Great idea said her mother Stop talking like that, said Mary Like what Like sic Oh, no said her mother , sic whose name was Scarlett I don t talk like that Do I Note to Mary s mother Yes, you do But serious question to Doyle, how do you even pronounce twelve exclamation marks Every time I read it, because this is not the only time Mary uses a ridiculous amount of exclamation marks in lieu of a word, all I saw was someone pulling the human equivalent of this expression It eventually made for some cute dialogue, but that didn t negate the original headache my editor brain gave me while reading this.I suppose this book, as cute and fun as it was to read, only got three stars because I couldn t quite see the point of it Mary doesn t grow or change in any remarkable way other than to appreciate her mother, grandmother and great grandmother which she already mostly did With so much dialogue, most of it unnecessary, it was easy to get immersed in the characters, but not so much in the story It took me a long time to read a very short book Once I put it down, I felt no compulsion to pick it up again.It was a short and sweet story, but rather like the many exclamation marks, I m not sure I entirely saw the point or truly grasped their meaning.


  3. says:

    My main disappointment with A Greyhound of a Girl was that the story was not entirely what I expected When initially reading the back cover, I expected something rather poignant yet cute a story of four generations on the road together, facing a journey of discovery, forgiveness and acceptance with a few giggles along the way Yet while this might in fact be what the author had in mind, I couldn t help but feel somehow let down by the story Typically, stories like this one are highly personal and emotional, which in turn makes the story feel real But as I was reading, I couldn t help but feel somewhat detached from what was happening The characters seemed intangiblealmost as if they were in a dreamlike statethere yet not really there Whenever something was said that was cute or funny to them, as a reader, I kind of felt like a bystander listening in on bits of a conversation that was not really meant for me to hear, i.e not really getting the full picture or the gist of the joke And it wasn t a language barrierI m fairly used to reading British and Irish colloquialisms and idiomatic expressions, and came across nothing new in this book But what really contributes to that otherworldly quality to this story is the ghost element I found it strange how the characters were so immediately accepting of this rather strange phenomenon, as if it was an everyday experience Perhaps this is meant to reinforce the childlike natures of the characters Even though four generations of women make up this story, they all have the same sort of childish innocence about themhow they view themselves and how they perceive the world around them For example, when the ghost walks through the closed door of an ice cream shop carrying a wad of money, none of the women find it strange when the ghost returns by exiting through the chimney the ghost s reasoning being that she couldn t carry four ice creams through a closed door In this story, no one ever questions, everything is readily believed and approved Because of this, other than this innocent sense of acceptance, there is no sense of real growth or development on this rather significant journey for these women Overall, while I like the idea that Roddy Doyle wrote a story like this for children, I wished that he could have developed the story and the themes a little focused on the real rather than the imaginary I think this is an important subject for children to consider, yet as written, I feel that only a surface representation of what experiencing a loss could feel like is really explored.


  4. says:

    3.5 StarsThis book was just so charming Whimsical, charming and very, very sweet It is simply a story about the connection between mothers and daughters It is also a story about growing up, letting go and losing the ones you love Not often do I read a book in one day, but the fact that I read this in a day is perhaps testament to just how engaging I found this novel.The characters of Mary, Scarlett, Emer and Tansey are what make this story The connection between each of the women and the dynamics of their relationships were the best parts of the novel although, I found Tansey and Emer s story much engaging than Mary and Scarlett s However, Mary was my favourite cheeky, feisty and loveable.That brings me to another point and that is that this book is almost entirely dialogue This didn t bother me, in fact I found it sped up the pace of the book, but I know it would be an annoyance for some.I loved the flashbacks and the historical aspect of the novel I just wish there had been as, for me, the present day scenes became a little annoying.So, if the book was so sweet and charming and if I found it so engaging why am I not rating it higher Well I felt a little cheated to be honest I thought the road trip would be the major part of the book I was disappointed to find it was in fact only the last 50 pages or so.However, this was a really fast, charming, nostalgic and quirky read which is probably best enjoyed with a slice of cake and a cup of tea It was truly grand and reminded me of this sweet little song ahh, but I may as well try and catch the wind A copy of this book was provided by the publishers This review and many can be found at Maree s Musings.


  5. says:

    My grandmother died in January We were expecting it for a while She had been in and out of the hospital for months, her diabetes causing circulation problems with her legs to the point where he body could no longer keep up I had realized prior to that what a loss my grandmother would be, but it was still hard for me to understand how it would feel this was the first death in my family that I had experienced Sometimes, the isolated nature of our cognition inevitably leads to a mild form of solipsism It is hard to conceptualize of other people, previous generations, having adventures and experiences and memories of their own My grandmother saw and did so much that I just can t know about any It s so weird, thinking that all these unique experiences that she had are now lost.I don t believe in ghosts But that doesn t mean it isn t cool to entertain the notion of the existence of ghosts What if my grandma were still around, haunting us, watching us grow and change and have our own children That s what Mary s great grandmother does in A Greyhound of a Girl When she dies from flu at the beginning of the century, she stays on the family farm as a ghost, hidden from sight but privy to the life of her child, Emer Tansey watches as Emer grows up and has her own daughter, Scarlett, who in turn gives birth to Mary Four generations on, Scarlett and Mary live in Dublin, the family farm long ago sold to a neighbour as the family diminished and broke apart Mary s grandmother, Emer, lies in hospital at the end of her life, and one day while walking home from school, Mary meets a peculiarly dressed woman who calls herself Tansey It takes a while for Mary to realize that Tansey is the ghost of her great grandmother After this, she introduces Tansey to her mother like you do , and they reunite grandmother with great grandmother before embarking on a touching road trip.With A Greyhound Girl, Roddy Doyle explores the connections, implicit and explicit, between generations of women in an Irish family It s ultimately something explored from a child s perspective, despite chapters told from the limited third person view of Tansey, Scarlett, and Emer This is Mary s story, the story of how the youngest in the generation somehow brings together the older three for one, last moment of shared experience.The ghost aspect definitely adds something here Indeed, it s essential, because it allows Tansey to be absent while simultaneously witnessing Emer s life This would be a very different story if Tansey had been present, had known Emer, and a different story still if Tansey had been absent but somehow alive By reintroducing Tansey as a ghost, ripped from Emer in an untimely manner by disease, Doyle sidesteps the need to address recriminations Emer, at the end of her life and ready to find peace, deals with Tansey s unexpected presence with the equanimity that only those who have accepted their forthcoming death possess.But so does Scarlett And Mary I mean, I can understand a child, particularly a twelve year old who has decided she knows everything about the world and nothing can surprise her, reacting with a weary haughtiness And maybe Scarlett is just a particularly hip mother The fact remains that all three react to Tansey s existence in essentially the same way Mary tells her mom that Tansey is a ghost, and mom doesn t bat an eye They all smile and exchange polite words and then go off to visit Emer in the hospital, Tansey in tow.There is a notable lack of drama or conflict in this book.There, I said it.Even the fact that Emer is dying, and that she gets to meet her mother after all these years, feels less sensational than turning on a television All of these characters are just so cool and collected, so glib and flip with their dialogue, that they don t seem alive They don t seem real There is precious little fighting between mother and daughter Mary prefers, instead, to spend her time tracking whether or not Scarlett s sentences end with I groaned the first time I read that exchange and quickly skimmed any further such paragraphs as they appeared In his attempts to give his characters depth and definition, Doyle just reduces them to trite exchanges better suited for a Saturday Night Live sketch.Generational stories are hard to do To work effectively, they need a real sense of loss and sacrifice They need secrets, moments of haunting, twisted darkness that have been repressed down the decades They need confrontation and revelation There is very little of that present in this book Beyond Emer s loss of Tansey as an infant and subsequent reunion now, just prior to her death, there is little hardship or suffering The reunion doesn t lead to much in the way of conflict No one yells or screams There is some sadness and melancholy, as one might expect from people who are watching a relative slowly decline But sadness alone does not a compelling story make.For a novel that culminates in a road trip, there is hardly any sense of adventure Worse still, there is no sense of danger This experience changes Mary and Scarlett they become different people for having known Tansey and seen this side of Emer Nevertheless, when I read a novel, I need to be than a voyeur to an extended family reunion I need something that is going to grip me by threatening real, three dimensional characters A Greyhound Girl doesn t do any of that.What saves this from a one star rating, in my mind, is some of Doyle s writing The dialogue is corny and the characterization flatter than an opened bottle of Coke Yet he still manages to capture some of the truths about family life Mary s brothers, for instance, who seem so alien and remote having hit puberty Or, as I mentioned previously, the doom that tinges every aspect of their day as they contemplate Emer s decline in hospital These little things hint at a skill that Doyle deploys effectively, according to other reviewers, in his other books, none of which I ve read.A Greyhound Girl feels like a book that is either too big or too small in terms of scope, not length To truly sprawl in a generational sense, it needs girth Or, Doyle could have gone the other way, focused on the relationship between mothers and daughters Instead, he treads some middle ground between the pinnacles of the two extremes As a result, rather than being a successful synthesis of the two approaches, the book is an unambitious presentation of an unexamined story.


  6. says:

    12 year old Mary starts talking to a lady outside her house. Turns out it s her great grandmother who is dead She wants Mary s help to send a message to her daughter who is dying. It s a cute quick story about 4 generations of women. It s sweet but the writing style was annoying and the story jumped back and forward in time It s a simple story without much too it It was ok but since it says a small miracle of a book and a book to read and re read on the cover I was expecting much .


  7. says:

    A Greyhound of a Girl was definitely one of those stories that I think has a sweet, slice of life, remembrance theme to it, though I m not sure if it didn t appeal to me as much because of the multiple perspectives it was written in, or if it was something about the structure flow of the writing that didn t pull me in Don t get me wrong, it s a sweet story that I liked, but it didn t tug at my heartstrings as much as I believed it would and I had to take the story in small bits It s a brief read, with quick prose carried primarily by dialogue, though it took me about a month to finish it.The story revolves around four generations of Dublin women Mary O Hara, the youngest, sees a woman whom she believes to be a new neighbor, but comes to realize that the woman is really the spirit of her great grandmother Tansey, a woman who died well before her time The reason for her appearance centers around the note that her daughter, Mary s grandmother Emer, clings to her last moments of life in the hospital Tansey is visible to both Mary, Mary s mother Scarlett, and the rest of the family and the story toggles between each perspective character s past and present Ultimately, Tansey, Scarlett and Mary take Emer from the hospital on a road trip which comes with the knowledge and recall of each woman s experiences, in which they learn and laugh about each other in the process.I did like the spot humor and quirky nature of the characters The thing I didn t like about the book was that some of the dialogue was so spotty in places that while in some cases it worked well for humor, others seemed like they didn t really have much to do with the story overall And the plethora of exclamation marks put me off a bit as I felt it was a bit unnecessary to have all of them to communicate the emotional connect of the statements themselves I would say it s worth reading if you like generational stories with bits of humor and a slice of life mentality For me, this was probably a one time read overall, but I still enjoyed the experience.Overall score 3 5Note I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher ABRAMS Amulet Books.


  8. says:

    From the back of the book Scarlett, Mary, Tansey, Emer.Mothers and daughters heading off on a car journey.One of them dead,one of them dying,one of them driving,one of them just beginning.They re going back to the past on a matter of life and death Mary is twelve and she hates the hospital She hates everything about it, except for one thing, her granny.Mary s granny Emer is in hospital afraid to close her eyes in case she ll never open them again while unable to stay awake.Mary visits her granny everyday together with her mother, Scarlett The visits aren t easy, but both mother and daughter love granny deeply, so they keep on going and keep on making the same jokes.Then one day on her way home from school Mary meets a confusing woman The woman seems to appear out of nowhere and is young although she makes an old impression Mary feels she should be afraid of this woman, but she isn t because somehow the woman, whose name is Tansey, seems familiar.When the ties between the four women are revealed, they go on a road trip together For one of them it will be the last trip she ever makes, for one of them it s the first trip in about eighty years and for two of them it will make the loss they ll have to face a little bit less hard.This is a charming book and a heart warming tale It is a ghost story without the scares, a coming of age story without the drama and a tale about love and loss without forces sentimentality At times funny and at times sad this story is inspired from start to finish Mary is a feisty, charming and completely life like character who I couldn t help but love, both in her cheeky and in her not cheeky moments But then she descends from a line of strong and loving women.This is a book that will be enjoyed by young teenagers as much as by adults, although they may have different reasons for loving the story Roddy Doyle has once again succeeded in writing a simple yet evocative tale, a story that will stay with the reader for a long time.


  9. says:

    This book was wonderful It really captured the sadness of losing a loved one I felt myself relating to the characters, I cried when they cried, and laughed at Mary s cheeky comments I adored the moments between daughter and mother The author was great at bringing about touching scenes without making them come across cheesy or cliche The amount of dialogue used was sufficient I feel for the setting of the story I loved the language used by the characters and how they played off each other I do not know much about Ireland or it s language but to me the setting seemed very realistic even though there was a ghost involved The love felt by the four women and their acceptance of the beginning and ending of life Even though Mary is just on the edge of womanhood, she has a mature nature that shows she will be a strong woman once she grows up The parallels between Mary s excitement of coming womanhood and Emer s apprehension about her impending death reflected each other in a subtle but moving tribute to the processes of life and death There wasn t anything spooky about this ghost story It was of a reflection on the different stages of life The author provided a well paced and touching story that spans through each characters lives Their childhoods, their adulthoods, and for two of them, their deaths I felt the flashbacks where written in a subtle yet effective way They tied the story together beautifully and left no questions unanswered I will definitely be looking for works by Roddy Doyle I received an eGalley of this book on behalf of Abrams from NetGalley I am grateful for the chance to review this and enjoyed it very much.


  10. says:

    Roddy Doyle s children s book, which the blurb says is suitable from ages 10 to adult, deals with some big themes but it s by far from a heavy or tricky story There s a lot of humour and lightness of touch Mary is twelve and her grandmother is in hospital dying It s a difficult time for Mary and her mother, then Mary meets a sweet old lady who seems very familiar and knows a lot about her grandma She also seems to disappear in bright lightWe have dying, loss, ghosts and sadness But also lightness, love and a strong bond across four generations of women.I was a little stuck to know what age range this story would appeal to as a children s book but it does address these big issues in a subtle and sensitive way.Having not read any Roddy Doyle for years and struggled with reading the dialogue in his Snapper, The Van, etc series I was a little apprehensive But the language and dialogue is easy to read whilst the phrasing of the dialogue creates great Irish atmosphere and character.I wanted to like this book a lot than I did and I m struggling to put my finger on what about it didn t quite hit the 5 stars I think perhaps it s a little too thin in some aspects of the characters and their relationships They didn t quite come to life for me.Having said that there are some absolutely beautiful passages and dialogue exchanges The idea of the story is wonderful and I did enjoy it It s one of those books that I found frustrating that it could have delivered a little bit yet it will be one of those stories which will be with me for a very long time I can see potential for this to become a classic and a text that will be studied by many students in the future.I m very glad I got to read it.


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A Greyhound of a Girl download A Greyhound of a Girl, read online A Greyhound of a Girl, kindle ebook A Greyhound of a Girl, A Greyhound of a Girl 03172dafcbcf Year Old Mary S Beloved Grandmother Is Near The End Of Her Life Letting Go Is Hard Until Granny S Long Dead Mammy Appears At Mary S Door, Returning To Help Her Dying Daughter Say Goodbye But First She Needs Someone To Drive Them All On A Visit To The Past