by Pauline McLynn
Take any suburban street in any city and it you will find a microcosm of society. From the ubiquitous average family to the eccentric or plain barmy, they will all be there somewhere. And it’s because of this we can relate to the strangely bizarre set of characters for whom Farewell Square is home.
There are a lot of characters introduced very quickly and at first I found it difficult to work out who was who and what their role was. But Pauline McLynn’s gloriously captivating narrative very soon made it all very clear.
Farewell Square is one of those small cul-de-sacs that from the outside seem idyllic in their Victorian splendour. But behind every door is a tale of unfulfilled promise, unimaginable pain and unrequited passions. Each of the characters in this witty and thoughtful romp is brought face to face with their personal demons with the help of Lucy, the interloper in the Nissan Micra. Just why Lucy has taken up residence in the Square, living out of her unsuitably small car is just one of the mysteries that make this such a great read.
Pauline McLynn writes simple witty stories that are non-the-less thoughtful and captivating. Her style, and the wonderful characters she creates to populate her books make her work more than run of the mill. Summer In The City has moments of great comedy alongside heart-breaking sadness. It is an easy, relaxing read, but also one that makes interesting and thought provoking look at suburban life and the often ludicrous priorities of modern living.
In poking around the sadness that lies beneath the surface of these very ordinary seeming characters, we can laugh at their absurdity, but also consider how we are perceived by others.