Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

A Greyhound of a Girl

A Greyhound of a Girl

Spring 2012 Fiction
Ages: 12 & Up
Author: Roddy Doyle
ISBN: 978-1419701689
Hardcover Price: $16.95

Mary O'Hara knows she isn't supposed to talk to strangers. But the woman who appears in Mary's lane doesn't really feel like a stranger; after all, she seems to know Mary's grandmother, who is sick in the hospital. It soon becomes apparent that the woman, whose name is Tansey, knows Mary's grandmother Emer quite well indeed. She is, in fact, the ghost of Emer's mother, come back to see her daughter through her final days. As she spends more time with Mary and her mother Scarlett, her appearances culminate in a reunion of four generations of women.

All four women narrate different chapters of their lives, so that the novel moves back and forth through time and perspective. Each voice is distinctive, though some of the nicest surprises come when the reader sees how unexpected some of the voices are. Scarlett, for example, speaks entirely in exclamation points in Mary's chapters, but in her own, she is an almost unrecognizably sullen teenager. This is a sweet, funny, and moving novel about loss and acceptance that will appeal to many young readers and their parents.

Naomi Lesley   ©2012 Parents' Choice
Naomi Lesley taught middle and high school English for six years. She is currently in a doctoral program at the George Washington University, focusing on American young adult literature.

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