Wales Arts Review

The Good Son reviewed in Wales Arts Review. You can read the full review here.

“Vivid… unsettling… a powerfully resonant novel… serving to draw parallels with other conflicts around the world, and reminding us that the suffering of children is always, always at the heart of warfare… perhaps two of the characters that Mickey most calls to mind are Scout Finch and Paddy Clarke, and this is a book that shares an affinity with the two novels which those characters call home.

McVeigh has said that he approached Mickey’s character as an actor might and this shows in the writing, which is frequently imbued with a high degree of emotion. In some ways this is a risky strategy for a writer to take as it can make the necessary quality of authorial detachment harder to attain. That McVeigh inhabits the character of Mickey with such verve and uninhibited gusto and yet manages to almost always maintain this quality of authorial distance constitutes a remarkable achievement. Because, put simply, Mickey Donnelly, ‘the good son’ of this very fine debut novel’s title, is an unforgettable character. And one that, like Scout Finch and Paddy Clarke before him, can teach us a great deal about the way that we, as adults, look at the world around us.”



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