Book Twenty One

Book Twenty One 2014: 

Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent



I’m going to have to be straight with you and say that if I’d come across Liz Nugent’s Unravelling Oliver in a bookstore there’s probably almost zero chance I would have picked it up and bought it.

How wrong could I be?

It’s a story that starts with a rich, older So-Co-Dub man beating his wife to within an inch of her life in their home. He’s never laid a hand on her or anyone before. Ever. By the end of the first chapter you want to punch *him* in the face. Then it unravels the story of him, her, the people around them and the past that has led him to that point.

Firstly can I say thanks to everyone who recommended this to me as part of a trawl I did online on International Women’s Day for more female authors for me to read this year and thanks to Penguin in Dublin for seeing the same and taking a punt on sending it in to me.

Just like Donal Ryan’s wonderful The Spinning Heart it takes simple situations in contemporary Irish lives and then tells the whole sweep of the story with the voices of those involved being given their own chapters. No plot here, no spoilers. Read it yourself.

Her writing is stylish, the characters are vivid and the line of the story all too real and plausible.

Can’t recommend it highly enough.


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