Tag Archives: Pauline McLynn

Summer in the City

Summer in the Cityby 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.

The Time Is Now

by Pauline McLynn

The Time Is NowHaving read several Pauline McLynn novels, I thought I knew what to expect and was looking forward to a warm and funny tale of rural Irish folk. That is not what I got.

The book started well, if a little out of character for McLynn, following the troubled new year of young Karen. Finding her best friend dead in the bath was just the beginning. Then the story jumped to appoint in the future. Same building but totally different residents. I struggled to get to grips with the plot but, when the story switched to following a Victorian scullery maid, I admit I gave up. 

I have read many books where the plot switches between time frames, such as Cloud Atlas, and usually manage to follow what is going on. But in this case, I found I didn’t want to know what was going on. Whilst I felt I could sympathise with Karen and her mixed up flat mate, the other two plots just left me cold ad uninterested.

A disappointing book.

The Woman on the Bus

by Pauline McLynn

The Woman on the BusThere is something endearing laid back about the Irish. This is my observation have read the work of several Irish novelists, and one not challenged by Pauline McLynn’s charming and very funny look at rural Irish life.

Probably better known for her portrayal of Mrs Dyle on the comedy Father Ted, she is carving out a parallel career as an author. I read her first novel “Something for the Weekend” several years ago and must admit that I had kind of forgotten about her as an author. Silly me. Now that I have “rediscovered” her work I will make a point of getting my hands on her other novels.

The woman on the bus of the title arrives in the village of Kilbrody on quiet summer’s evening, drinking herself into oblivion at the local pub. Who is she and why is she there? Very soon the woman on the bus is the only subject of interest to the people of Kilbrody. 

But they are not the only one’s asking questions about her past. It seems she is as much a mystery to herself as she is to those who have come to her rescue.

A very funny book with some charming characters – the alcoholic famer on the verge of losing his family and the tee-total publican with a chequered past. With romance blossoming and rivalries coming to a head, The Woman on the Bus is a treat, a light-hearted look at rural Ireland but with a string message about families and the importance of relationships.