A wonderful blog review of The Good Son by Leanne Wain. Read the full review here.
“I absolutely adored Mickey as a narrator- his voice was so strong and he has absolutely heaps of character. Cheeky, imaginative, insecure, hilariously funny. He wants nothing more than for his family to show that they love him, and to be allowed to be himself. The taunts and jeers of the neighbourhood kids were devastating. Mickey’s love for his Mammy and his little sister, and The Wizard of Oz and Grease make him gay in their eyes. Despite their teasing and despite growing up knowing nothing but the poverty and destruction of the Troubles, Mickey has a heart of gold. The passages that show how torn Mickey is between fear and love for his Mammy are genuinely difficult to read. I just wonder how they could have been but for the Troubles.
I was thoroughly impressed by how this novel manages to be accessible and endearing, relateable on some level to everyone, but it manages to pack a real emotional punch too. Vivid though the setting is, it could quite easily be any childhood spent in a war zone- playing in the bomb-sites, curfews and no-go areas. Much of this book put me in mind of the also excellent Girl at War by Sara Novic- a war seen through the eyes of a child that knows nothing else. I found McVeigh’s writing to be absolutely captivating- the plotting is so tight it makes your eyes water, there is not a single line or incident that does not further the reader’s understanding of the characters, or the feelings and fears of a community virtually under siege. Very much recommend.”