The story is narrated by Kathleen, a travel writer from Ireland, who at the death of a close colleague and friend begins to evaluate her life at the age of fifty. Struggling with loneliness and a deep lack of fulfilment she embarks on a journey back to the Ireland she left at the age of seventeen in order to confront her roots and deal with the demons of her past.
Much of the book is devoted to Kathleen’s memories of her sketchy and sad childhood which is slightly reminiscent of Frank McCourt’s, Angela’s Ashes. No mistaking here that the authentic dialect and descriptions add a beautiful visual depth to this story in a similar fashion. There are also reflections throughout the book on the potato famine, and many times the heartfelt emotions which were conveyed simply swept you up and away in a sometimes uncomfortable but pleasant way, in that you felt you were not just reading a sentence but indulging in some beautifully articulated irish literature.
The heart of the story is Kathleen’s inner struggle to feel loved and whether or not she will ever again find a passionate lover, an experience which she had only briefly tasted once in her younger years. When married ‘Shay ‘ appears in her life he becomes a fulfilling lover, if only for a fleeting time. Soon Kathleen is faced with the difficult choice of facing life as a middle-aged woman indulging in only sporadic unions with her lover, or the alternative option of never encountering a soul-bonding sexual experience ever again.
The ending ties together all her thoughts, self-discoveries, and final choices as she embarks on a new life without the people she has loved, and let go, both in the past and the present.
Overall the book was riveting and I found myself lost in its prose. For those who appreciate self-exploratory books with a deeper connection I truly recommend it as a pleasurable read.
My Dream of Youis available on Amazon.