Books by Irish Authors – What I’ve Read So Far

Ireland is an island booming with talent. When it comes to books, I haven’t been admiring it properly, though, since I’ve only read six books by Irish authors, two of them by the same writer. Having such a short sample to pick from, it wouldn’t be fair to choose favourites for my first post during Reading Ireland Month, hosted by Cathy throughout March. Instead, I’m sharing a summary of my experience reading books by Irish authors.


The Glorious Heresies and The Blood Miracles by Lisa McInerney

The first book I read by Lisa McInerney, The Glorious Heresies, follows five characters: Ryan, Maureen, Jimmy, Tony and Georgie. Their paths cross when Maureen accidentally kills a man. Throughout the book, various topics, including religiosity, prostitution, dysfunctional families and drug dealing, are engagingly explored. The characters also feel genuine.

The Blood Miracles, on the other hand, is not as impressive. Despite Ryan being the sole protagonist, his feelings are not as poignant and thoughtful as in the previous novel. Too much focus is placed on drug trafficking and nightclubs. Continue reading


‘The Blood Miracles’ by Lisa McInerney

My rating: 3 stars

Lisa McInerney’s first novel, The Glorious Heresies, is told from the perspectives of five characters. One of them, Ryan Cusack, is the sole protagonist of The Blood Miracles. This isn’t the only difference between the two novels, though. Her latest isn’t, unfortunately, as enthralling as I hoped, since the plot focuses almost merely on drug dealing and the characters are not as fleshed out as they could have been.

Ryan’s life is in turmoil. Although he was born and grew up in Cork, he is fluent in Italian, thanks to his dual heritage. His boss, Dan, wants to make use of his language skills in a new drug route from Italy to Ireland. At the same time, Colm expects Ryan to be his partner at a music venue he is planning to open. But, now that they are in their early twenties, his girlfriend, Karine, wants him to change his ways and leave the world of drugs behind. Amid all of this, he meets Natalie, who brings additional trouble, and reunites with Maureen, who helped him before, despite him not remembering the details.

Sadly, the book focuses too much on the issues concerning drug dealing and night clubs to the point that it gets tiresome. That is a problem particularly because some of the characters who are part of Ryan’s life, such as Natalie and Dan, are too cardboard, and even Ryan is not as fleshed out and complex as in The Glorious Heresies. He is on a self-destructive path, but there isn’t enough exploration of it. The writing style has, overall, a very fast and turbulent rhythm, as if to mimic the torrent of events surrounding Ryan. His feelings, though, are only occasionally explored. Continue reading